#New York lawmakers begin passing series of police reforms

#New York lawmakers begin passing series of police reforms

June 8, 2020 | 8:22pm

New York State lawmakers began passing a package of police accountability bills and other criminal justice reforms Monday following protests and outrage over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Both the Assembly and Senate passed five bills by early evening Monday — including one banning police chokeholds.

That measure is named after Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died in police custody after Officer Daniel Pantaleo body slammed him with a chokehold in 2014 as a video showed him shouting, “I can’t breathe.” Pantaleo was fired after a years-long process that included a grand jnury failing to indict him, a federal investigation bringing no charges and then an NYPD internal trial.

Another bill passed requires law enforcement to file reports on suspects apprehended for low-level offenses who died in custody.

A third proposal requires the police to report any incident when they discharge a firearm.

A fourth bill makes it a crime to make false or hate-based 911 calls. The legislation was triggered by Amy Cooper, a woman who made a false 911 call on black man who was a bird watcher in Central Park.

Meanwhile, they passed legislation that would bar police officers from interfering with citizens recording videos.

The Assembly also passed a measure that requires state police officers to wear body cameras, which are already used by the NYPD.

A bill that would require the release of disciplinary records of police officers is expected to pass on Tuesday.

Lawmakers are also expected to pass a law authorizing the state attorney general to investigate cases when a suspect dies in police custody, codifying an executive order approved by Gov. Cuomo.

They also will approve a proposal to create an independent investigative office in the attorney general’s office to review, study and audit the practices of law enforcement agencies.

A 10th bill would require emergency services be provided to suspects that require medical attention.


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