New York police reform: Cuomo urges lawmakers to pass ‘Say Their Name’ agenda

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America Protests New York

Activists carry protest signs during a march in the Prospect Heights section of the Brooklyn borough of New York on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

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NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday urged state lawmakers to draft and pass a package of bills to reform police and the criminal justice system.

The “Say Their Name” agenda was unveiled by the governor on Friday in response to demonstrations against police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd during an arrest by Minneapolis police.

“Pass the bills, actually make the change. Then other states will look at New York and say, ‘well New York did this, why can’t we?’” Cuomo said Saturday during his daily briefing. “That’s New York at its best, leading the way.”

There are four possible pieces of legislation in Cuomo’s agenda:

  • Reform Civil Rights Law 50-a, which protects police personnel and disciplinary records from being publicly released.
  • Ban chokeholds by law enforcement officers statewide.
  • Prohibit and criminalize false, race-based 911 reports.
  • Codify the designation of the attorney general as an independent prosecutor when an unarmed civilian is killed by police.

Peaceful demonstrations, violent protests and looting have rocked the nation from coast to coast for nearly two weeks since Floyd’s death on May 25.

Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest for an alleged non-violent crime.

His death was captured on cellphone video and widely shared on social media, sparking nationwide outrage and reigniting discourse over police brutality and racial inequality.

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