#City Council secures veto-proof majority for bill criminalizing police chokeholds

City Council secures veto-proof majority for bill criminalizing police chokeholds

June 4, 2020 | 1:39am

The City Council has secured a veto-proof majority for legislation to criminalize NYPD chokeholds, Speaker Corey Johnson said Wednesday.

With 35 Councilmembers supporting the bill, it can become law over the objection of Mayor de Blasio, who has said he would only sign the bill if language was added to exempt officers in “a life or death situation” —  language the legislation does not include.

“Our bill to criminalize the use of chokeholds by the NYPD now has 35 sponsors in the @NYCCouncil, meaning it can override a Mayoral veto,” Johnson (D-Manhattan) tweeted Wednesday night.

“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. But if it does, we’re ready.”

The bill is expected to be passed this month along with a second piece of legislation that would force the NYPD to create a standardized disciplinary system.

The chokehold legislation was first introduced in 2015 by Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) in the wake of the death of Eric Garner, only to languish until George Floyd’s killing.

Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Queens) is sponsoring the second bill requiring the Polce Department to create a “disciplinary matrix” for its officers.

“Right now, there is no disciplinary standard in the police department,” Richards told NY1 last week. “There is no written instruction on what a disciplinary action should be if an officer commits an infraction. This will set an example.”

The legislation comes amid violent demonstrations across the country seeking justice for Floyd, who was killed after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned his knee to his neck with the assistance of three other officers.

All four officers have been fired and charged with felonies.

The de Blasio administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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