New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law nation-leading criminal justice and police reform bills — including legislation that ends 50-A and bans chokeholds. He was joined at the signing by Reverend Al Sharpton and Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr.
The governor described the package as the “most aggressive” police reform legislation in the country, making officers more accountable.
The bills, which have been opposed by law enforcement unions, follow weeks of protests across the US.
Cuomo said: “The truth is this: police reform is long overdue. This is not just about Mr Floyd’s murder. It’s about being here many, many times before.”
Rev Sharpton called this ultimatum to the police a “model” for all other states. “This is a new level that all other 49 governors ought to look at. He has raised the bar.
“I’m most glad for the mothers who, no matter what we do, will always have an empty seat at their tables.”
The order instructs New York’s 500 police departments to develop plans to address racial biases. Police agencies that fail to enact the plan into law by April 2021 will not get funded.
Specific areas for the police to address include:
use of force by police officers
implicit bias awareness training
de-escalation training and practices
restorative justice practices
citizen complaint procedures
Cuomo added: “The police are public servants. They do what the public wants them to do.”
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