City Councilman Jumaane Williams joined other elected officials and advocates in Downtown Manhattan on Wednesday to unveil a legislative package to reform the NYPD's "Stop And Frisk" policy.
It includes requiring police officers to hand out business cards when stopping someone and explaining New Yorkers' rights to refuse a search.
Recent police statistics show officers stopped and questioned nearly 700,000 people last year, 87 percent of whom were black or Hispanic.
"This is not political theater. This is a serious matter and serious business," said Williams. "The 90-percent innocent deserve leadership from the mayor to push reform and in the void of that leadership, members of the council are stepping up to advance the conversation. We are welcome to dialogue, but we can no longer wait for the mayor or the [police] commissioner to take the mantle on their own because they've proven that they have not and will not."
The NYPD has defended the policy, saying it has helped lower the city's homicide rate.