In a surprise vote, the Providence City Council did not pass the so-called Community Safety Act during its meeting Thursday. Supporters say the community policing act will tamp down police profiling.
The city council voted 9 to 5, with one absentee, to table the ordinance until June 1st. When the city councilors announced their intention, the advocates of the ordinance erupted into deafening boos and shouts of ‘no.’
The move was unexpected, since the ordinance passed on a 12 to zero vote last week. In Providence, an ordinance must pass twice in the full council before moving on to the mayor's office. Members of the council believed it would pass again. Supporters had even penned a press release celebrating its success.
In the intervening days the Providence police union wrote a letter, saying the far-reaching ordinance would put onerous burdens on law enforcement.
Advocates say police need more accountability and vow to push for passage in June. They also threatened to vote all those in favor of tabling the motion off the council.