Yusef Salaam Faces Resignation Demands Over Alleged NYPD Encounter

(IntegrityTimes.com) – On Friday January 26, New York City Councilman Yusef Salaam was pulled over by police in Harlem apparently for his tinted windows, which are illegal at high percentages of tinting in New York since the murder of after Detective Russel Timoshenko in 2007 who was shot through deeply tinted windows. Some are calling for a public apology or even a resignation from Salaam for his actions and rhetoric regarding the incident. Republican Queens Councilwoman Joann Ariola posted on X saying the stop was not illegal, but his tinted windows were. She also accused him of using his position as councilman to get out of a ticket and lying about the incident.

In Salaam’s account of events, he was stopped in Harlem while he was driving with his family, using a speakerphone to conference with other council members, one of whom was apparently talking about police stops. He recalls that he introduced himself as Councilman Salaam and asked why he was pulled over. Then he says the officer ended the encounter without answering the question and abruptly walked away saying “We’re done here.” In his public statement after the stop, Salaam commented on the importance of transparency around such police stops being necessary to prevent racial profiling and unconstitutional stops.

However, the officer in question was wearing a live bodycam. The NYPD has released that footage as well as a public statement about the incident in which they clarified that the councilman was stopped due to window tinting beyond the legal limit. They also defended their officer, stating that he was polite, professional and respectful throughout the encounter and even that his withdrawal from the stop in order to not interfere with Salaam’s official duties was an appropriate use of discretion.

On Monday January 29 Mayor Eric Adams said that it’s possible the officer didn’t hear Salaam’s question about why he was stopped, and it is true that even on the video some of the conversation seems garbled. It is also possible that Salaam misheard the officer’s final remarks. The incident may be useful as a fulcrum for opponents of Mayor Adams veto on the “How Many Stops Act” bill, which the council is determined to overturn. The bill, which Adams vetoed on January 19, would require police to publicly report all investigative stops, even for what are regarded as low-level encounters.

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