since Sean Bell, No Drinking & Shooting goes unnoticed

After the widespread criticism and public outcry following the shooting and killing of Mr. Sean Bell, NYPD Commissioner established a committee to review the Internal Affairs Bureau (which is in place to investigate police misconduct. Though I must say, the stories my clients tell me seem to indicate plenty of police misconduct goes unnoticed). One of the recommendations established by the committee was that Officers who through firing their weapon injure or kill (whether on or off duty) must submit to a breathalyzer test. This recommendation was implemented under J.A. 50, Interim Order 52.

This increased accountability (albeit moderate in my view) prompted Union representatives of NYPD officers to bring a law suit challenging the constitutionality of requiring submission to such tests. Most recently, NYPD officers sought to enjoin the enforcement of the breathalyzer tests pending the case. This claim was unsuccessful in District Court and the decision affirmed on Friday Dec 11, 2009 by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. Read the complete opinion here. Good Job 2nd Circuit. Keep up the good work. If police officers are to be authorized to maim, shoot and kill to protect us, we citizens should trust in their sobriety while operating “machinery”!

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