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NYS Senate Dems proposing reforms for policing after George Floyd death, protests



 – Following the demonstrations surrounding the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers, the New York State Senate said it will unveil a package of legislative bills to reform policing in the state.

There are 11 bills being proposed in total. Among the proposals are the repeal of New York Civil Rights Law 50-a, which would end protections for disciplinary records of police officers, firefighters, and correction officers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democratic governor of a state with a Democratic majority-controlled legislature, said Monday that he will sign the bills into law quickly if they are approved.

“If they pass the bills that we’ve discussed, I will sign the bills and I will sign them as soon as they are passed,” Cuomo said. “This is not about what an individual state can do. It’s actually broader than that. New York state will take this legislative action and I hope it then becomes a model for other states to follow.”

“The horrific murder of George Floyd, the most recent in a long list of innocent people like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Tony McDade, and so many more, has led to a rightful outpouring of grief and anger,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “Black New Yorkers, like all residents of this state, deserve to know that their rights, and lives, are valued and protected by our justice system.”

Other bills in the legislative packages would create a new office under the Attorney General to investigate deaths of people killed by police or peace officers, affirm the right of people not under arrest or in custody to record police activity, end the use of chokeholds by law enforcement, establish a new office to study and recommend policies and practices for local law enforcement, require publishing of arrest-related data, allows someone to seek action when another person calls an officer for a non-emergency incident, codify a defendant’s right to medical and mental health attention while in custody, require officers to report when they have discharged their weapon within six hours, and mandate body cameras for New York State Police.

13WHAM News will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.