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NYC Councilman Brad Lander Wants Independent Police Oversight

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks to the media following a promotion ceremony at Police Headquarters on January 27, 2012 in New York City. Kelly appeared in the film
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks to the media following a promotion ceremony at Police Headquarters on January 27, 2012 in New York City. Kelly appeared in the film "The Third Jihad" Muslim groups are asking him to step down, saying that the film they depicts Islam and its followers in a bad light. The film was shown to hundreds and maybe thousands of NYPD officers for training purposes. Commissioner Kelly refused to answer questions relating to r

NEW YORK -- A New York City councilman is calling for the creation of an inspector general's office to oversee the police department.

Brad Lander released a statement Monday calling for oversight for the NYPD, saying that recent events have created a confidence gap in how the NYPD handles their cases.

The idea was floated in a New York Times op-ed piece called 'It's Time To Police The N.Y.P.D.'

The opinion piece cited a movie shown to police trainees that critics say paints Muslims negatively. It also noted an Associated Press investigation that uncovered police surveillance of Muslims.

Police officials say the movie was shown by mistake and officers only follow leads.

From the op-ed:

History shows that any attempt to oversee the police will be met with great resistance by the department and its political allies. But no agency is immune from mistakes. When the stakes are as high as they are in fighting terrorism, there must be a mechanism to identify excesses and wrongdoing.

We need an independent inspector general for the Police Department. Such an official would have seen the film scandal for what it is: not the error of one sergeant, but an indication that procedures for authorizing training materials are lacking. Oversight makes government stronger, not weaker.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the city won't turn over control of the police department to an outside entity.