NEWS: Moms of youths killed by gun violence beg council not to override Adams’ veto of How Many Stops Act
Three Big Apple mothers whose children were killed in senseless bursts of gun violence have begged the City Council not to override Mayor Eric Adams’ veto of the controversial cop-stops bill that critics say would drown the NYPD in paperwork and slow investigations.
Heartbroken moms Eva Hendricks, Yanely Henriquez and Yahisha Gomez — who each lost a child in stray-bullet shootings — wrote to Council Speaker Adrienne Adams detailing how the “How Many Stops Act” would have derailed the NYPD’s pursuit of their kids’ alleged killers.
“I’m not sure if you have ever felt the pain that my family has in the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy, but the thought of officers having to slow down or waste time filling out paperwork, while this individual is out there potentially committing more crime, makes me sick to my stomach,” wrote Hendricks, whose son, Brendon Hendricks, 17, was shot dead in The Bronx in June 2020.
“Is the idea to prioritize paperwork over justice?” the distraught mom asked in the letter, obtained by The Post.
The bill — which demands cops record demographic information about nearly everyone they speak to — would have uselessly delayed the urgent investigation into who was responsible for the promising Bronx hoops star’s death, she wrote.
“If those officers had to stop and complete paperwork after each time that they spoke to one of the hundreds of people they encountered during their time trying to find the perpetrator, wasting those precious moments, we may have never found the person responsible, and they could still be out on the street to this day tearing apart other families like he did ours,” Hendricks wrote in her emotional treatise.
The council will likely vote to override Adams’ veto Tuesday, brushing aside his concerns that the bill will mire cops in a torrent of paperwork when they should be out solving crimes.
It’s not clear if the letters — each of which was dated Jan. 29 — will dissuade the speaker from pursuing the override vote, the fight over which has often devolved into a petty battle between City Hall and the Democrat-led council.
But the trio of missives would tug at even the most hardened politician’s heartstrings — such as when Gomez lamented the bill could deny justice for families like hers, which endured the senseless killing of Bronx 11-year-old Kyara Tay by moped-borne gunmen in May 2022.
“We don’t need [police] wasting time documenting that this individual who didn’t have any information to provide was a black male, or a stylish female, or their age, or ethnicity,” she wrote.
“That is not going to help deliver justice for my family,” she continued. “But continuing to get helpful information during the precious seconds and minutes immediately following an incident can – and in my case, did.”
“The police officers who spent every second they could to deliver justice for my family had the perpetrator in handcuffs by 10:00 p.m. the following night,” Henriquez wrote.
“When I think about this legislation, I just imagine all the people that those cops had encountered and asked for the information needed to find the person responsible for this heinous act – it was a LOT of people,” she added.
“And I know they spoke to everyone they could; it was people from the bodega, the local gym, the houses across the street and in local buildings, one of which still has her picture on the wall. We’re talking about hundreds of people, hundreds of conversations, all in a matter of a few hours,” Henriquez noted.
“I know in my heart that this bill would have slowed the process down and potentially denied justice to my family,” she wrote.
Adams has railed against the bill in recent weeks for similar reasons.
On Monday, he again defended his stance in an interview on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” where he said he would support the law if it didn’t mandate cops record information about the lowest-level stops, known as “level one” encounters.
“Those are stops such as, for example, if a person has a lost parent who’s dealing with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” Hizzoner said. “Everyone that officer asks, did they see the person, he will have to document that. That’s the aspect of the law I disagree with.”
But Speaker Adams appears firmly entrenched in her support — and her determination to override Hizzoner’s veto.
“I’m very confident that we came through this legislation with a veto-proof majority of council members voting in favor of this bill,” she said Monday on NY1. “So I feel very confident that we will succeed in the override.”
A spokesperson for Speaker Adams and the Council responded, “This Council has prioritized crime survivors by committing significant resources to help prevent cycles of violence in communities and families harmed by it.
“The bill does not require police officers to interrupt efforts towards searching for anyone or other time-sensitive activities, and the NYPD maintains control over how to implement its sharing of this basic data with the public.
“Officers are already required to catalogue body camera footage on Level 1 and 2 investigative stops, and can simply provide the associated data as they currently do for Level 3 stops on a smartphone or computer as part of the process they already use. Transparency is essential to making New Yorkers safer, and our most technologically advanced police department can accomplish this without diverting from its other important activities.”