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New York City Council Approves Package Of Police Reform Bills After Voting To End Qualified Immunity For Officers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After voting to end qualified immunity for police officers, the New York City Council passed several more bills Friday designed to reform the NYPD after widespread protests against police brutality.

As CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported, the package of police legislation will either improve the department or hamper it, depending on who you ask.

The package includes five bills, which Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to sign into law.

"I think we made a meaningful step forward in providing some real accountability to the police department on behalf on New Yorkers," said Councilmember Stephen Levin.

Levin proposed the bill that greatly limits qualified immunity for cops, making it easier to sue an officer if rights are violated. He said these reforms are just a start and promised more in the future.

Mayor de Blasio said he supports it because the city would be financially liable, not the officer. But others question if the bill goes far enough.

"What I want is individual level responsibility. That would change the calculus of an officer on the street," said Susan Kang, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

"For potentially tens of thousands of dollars, that was going to tell a whole lot of people this was not a job they could pursue," said the mayor.

Some of the other bills would require the NYPD to issue a quarterly report on all traffic stops and would shift crash investigations that involve serious injury to the Department of Transportation.

Police unions oppose the package.

They set up an electric billboard outside City Hall on Thursday, arguing the priority should be to reduce an alarming spike in gun violence, especially in minority neighborhoods.

"Every bill that they put in is making it more difficult for our detectives and the police in the street to do their job," said Paul DiGiacomo of the Detectives' Endowment Association.

"These laws, these bills are going to cause police to be less proactive, and the people that are going to suffer are the Black and Brown people of the inner city," said retired NYPD detective Angel Maysonet.

On qualified immunity, the NYPD said the law, as written, would simply encourage more lawsuits and make it easier for plaintiffs to name individual officers.

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