Proposed "Say Their Name" legislation following the death of George Floyd and an ongoing pattern of police brutality includes several new measures in New York State, including banning chokeholds by law enforcement officers.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday, June 5 at his daily news briefing in Albany that he expects the legislation to pass next week and that he will work with the State Legislature to get the policies installed.
"Say Their Name" refers to victims of police-related incidents. (See image above.)
The list of policy priorities builds on earlier proposals in the immediate aftermath of the killing of Floyd and prior executive actions he has taken including appointing the Attorney General as a special prosecutor in matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.
The "Say Their Name" Reform agenda includes:
- Allow for transparency of prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers by reforming 50-a of the civil rights law;
- Banning chokeholds by law enforcement officers;
- Prohibiting false race-based 911 reports and making them a crime; and
- Designating the Attorney General as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.
"Mr. Floyd's murder was the breaking point of a long list of deaths that were unnecessary and abusive, and people are saying enough is enough, we must change and we must stop the abuse," Cuomo said. "Stopping police abuse vindicates the overwhelming majority - 99.9 percent - of police who are there to do the right thing. It restores the confidence, the respect, and the trust that you need to make this relationship work.
"You have to heal the police-community relationship for the sake of the police and for the sake of the community. As the progressive capital of the nation, New York should be at the forefront of this movement, and I want to work with the Legislature to pass these policy priorities next week to reform our systems and put a stop to this abuse once and for all."
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