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State lawmakers ready to pass police reform legislation

Jun 08, 2020 1:30 pm
Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics New York lawmakers will convene virtually this week to take up a package of bills intended to provide more oversight to law enforcement. The legislation would require better access to police disciplinary records, set in law a special prosecutor within the state attorney general's office to investigate incidents when a civilian is killed by the police, and more. The focus of the reform measures is on police oversight and accountability, such as the repeal of the 50-a provision, that has shielded police disciplinary records from public view. Another bill would strengthen the required use of body cameras by police officers. Lawmakers are also considering a ban on the use of chokeholds by police, a maneuver that led to the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has indicated he will sign the police reform measures if approved. Among other bills under consideration is one that would classify as a hate crime the act of making a false 911 report against a person of a protected class. The proposed law would address the behavior seen in a viral video of a white woman in Central Park who called the police to falsely report a black man for asking her to leash her dog. There is also a bill in the Senate Finance Committee that would rename the state Thruway system for abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Some advocates are calling for the defunding of police departments as well, something Cuomo said he opposed. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.