Gov. Cuomo signs series of police reforms, will issue executive order on changes to police departments

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law on Friday a sweeping package of police accountability measures that received new backing following protests of George Floyd's killing, including one allowing the release of officers' long-withheld disciplinary records.

News 12 Staff

Jun 12, 2020, 3:12 PM

Updated 1,503 days ago

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law on Friday a sweeping package of police accountability measures that received new backing following protests of George Floyd's killing, including one allowing the release of officers' long-withheld disciplinary records. 
The measures were approved earlier this week by the state's Democratic-led Legislature. Some of the bills had been proposed in years past and failed to win approval, but lawmakers moved with new urgency in the wake of massive, nationwide demonstrations over Floyd's death at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
Cuomo was joined at the signing ceremony by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed by police in New York in 2014.
“Police reform is long overdue and Mr. Floyd’s murder is only the most recent murder,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said.
The laws will ban police chokeholds, make it easier to sue people who call police on others without good reason, and set up a special prosecutor’s office to investigate the deaths of people during and following encounters with police officers.
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Some bills, including body camera legislation, drew support from Republicans, who opposed legislation that repealed a state law long used to block the release of police disciplinary records over concerns about officers' privacy.
Eliminating the law, known as Section 50-a, would make complaints against officers, as well as transcripts and final dispositions of disciplinary proceedings, public for the first time in decades.
By MARINA VILLENEUVE
Associated Press
(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)
BRIEFING NOTES:
  • NAACP President Hazel Dukes, the mother of Sean Bell, the mother of Eric Garner, Rev. Al Sharpton, Speaker of the Assembly Carl E. Heastie, NY Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins join Gov. Cuomo during his briefing in New York City.
  • Gov. Cuomo: There were 42 deaths in last 24-hour period from COVID-19. It's slightly up from 36 reported on Thursday. 
  • Gov. Cuomo: "You have states now that reopened that are now scaling back their reopening. We are the exact opposite. Since we've reopened, the number has continued to go down."
  • "We are a state of action...talking is not enough." Gov. Cuomo says he will sign police reforms passed by NY Legislature during briefing.
  • The reforms include the 50-a repeal, additional penalties for chokeholds, falsely filing race-based 911 reports, codifying AG's role as special prosecutor in cases in police-involved civilian deaths.
  •  Gov. Cuomo says he’s signing an executive order requiring local police departments in state to come up with plan to reinvent departments or face losing funding.
  • Gov. Cuomo says if police departments don't implement changes by April 1, 2021, they will not get state aid.
PHOTOS: Coronavirus heroes
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PHOTOS: George Floyd Protests
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