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NYPD union files suit over City Council's profiling law

The main NYPD union filed a lawsuit Tuesday, as expected, in a bid to get the City Council's bias profiling law tossed out, claiming the measure will make it difficult for police officers to do their jobs.

The complaint filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association claims the law is pre-empted by the state criminal procedure code and is too vague to give police guidance on what they are permitted to do.

The measure, which has been strongly criticized by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, bars officers from using "profiling" in stop-and-frisk encounters or other enforcement action.

Bloomberg filed his own lawsuit against the measure in September, and Tuesday the Sergeants Benevolent Association said it was filing papers to join the mayor's litigation.

"The language of the so-called 'biased-based policing' law is unconstitutionally vague and will only serve to confuse police officers regarding its racial profiling provisions," PBA president Patrick Lynch said in a statement Monday.

In response, a council spokesman blasted the PBA action.

"The council stands by the bias-based profiling law and will aggressively defend it in court," the spokesman said. "The law is a key component of the council's reform of stop-and-frisk and to ensuring unconstitutional stops end."

Also weighing against the PBA lawsuit was the group Communities United For Police Reform, which called the union's action a lost cause.

"It would be more productive for NYPD unions to join the City Council and New Yorkers in working towards positive solutions and police-community relationships, rather than continuing to fight a losing battle against ensuring all New Yorkers are afforded equal civil rights," a spokesman for the group said.

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