Lawmakers Oppose ‘Parade’ Law
Lawmakers and community activists criticized the police department’s proposals to regulate parade permits yesterday at a rally and public hearing at Police Headquarters. One day after the New York City Bar Association opposed the proposed regulation, which it said would present a “serious and unwarranted infringement on associational freedom,” some opponents to the law argued that legislative changes should be made by the city council, not the police department. Under the new regulation, groups of 10 or more pedestrians or bicyclists who plan to travel more than two city blocks without obeying traffic laws would need a permit to do so. Processions of 30 vehicles or more would also need permits. At the hearing, Councilwoman Letitia James argued that the rules are “inherently unconstitutional,” adding, “It’s my understanding that the City Council writes laws,” while police enforce them. In a statement, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn did not take a position on who should decide permit procedure, stating instead that while the revised regulations strike a better balance of public safety and civil liberties, the police department should continue to hear suggestions and amend the law as appropriate.
— Special to the Sun