Yusuf Salaam, out-of-state, council man, tint, driving, resign

Yusuf Salaam Stop Reviewed, NYPD Says Protocol Was Followed

Salaam questioned why the department is not being called to provide transparency around traffic stops.

Yusuf Salaam, a newly elected New York City Council member and member of The Exonerated Five, told CBS News that the NYPD pulled him over on Jan 26 without an explanation.

In Salaam’s written statement, he questioned why the department is not being called to provide transparency around traffic stops.

“I introduced myself as Councilman Yusef Salaam, and subsequently asked the officer why I was pulled over,” said Salaam, who was with his wife. “Instead of answering my question, the officer stated, ‘We’re done here,’ and proceeded to walk away.

“The fact that the officer did not provide a rationale for the stop, which would have only been legal at ‘level 3’ (with reasonable suspicion) or higher as required for vehicle stops, calls into question how the NYPD justifies its stops of New Yorkers and highlights the need for greater transparency to ensure they are constitutional. This experience only amplified the importance of transparency for all police investigative stops because the lack of transparency allows racial profiling and unconstitutional stops of all types to occur and often go unreported.”

According to two people who were on a conference call with Salaam as he was being pulled over—Michael Sisitzky, an assistant policy director at the New York American Civil Liberties Union, and Mandela Jones, a deputy chief of staff for New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams—Salaam was heard asking why he was being pulled over, but never received an answer. Jones told The Gothamist that it was subsequently discussed on the call after the incident had concluded.

The NYPD countered by saying that the windows on Salaam’s car were too dark and releasing a statement on Jan 27. “The driver complied and identified himself as New York City Councilmember Yusef Salaam, performing official duties, at which point the officer advised him to have a good night. This entire account is corroborated by body-worn camera footage and the vehicle report.”

“As the video shows, throughout this interaction, the officer conducted himself professionally and respectfully,” the NYPD said. “He followed all proper procedures, including procedures that were put in place after Detective Russel Timoshenko was shot and killed through tinted windows in 2007.”

In a statement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, expressed his appreciation for Salaam “for bringing this stop to our attention” and commended “the NYPD for following all proper procedures and being respectful” during the interaction.

“We spoke, and once [Salaam] had an opportunity to see the video, he saw that the officer showed professionalism,” Adams told CBS News. “It is, you know, a car stop is stressful for a police officer, and it’s stressful for the people who are being stopped.”

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