Cuomo signs police reform bill; NYPD union warns cops will be ‘unable to do the job’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday signed a package of police reforms that had been spurred by protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd — but a top police union warned that the sweeping measures would leave New York’s Finest “unable to do the job.”“Police reform is long overdue, and Mr. Floyd’s murder is only the most recent murder,” Cuomo said, signing the legislation that had been approved by the state’s legislature.NYPD UNION CHIEFS RIP POLITICIANS FOR ANTI-COP PUSH: ‘THEY’RE ASKING US TO WALK AWAY FROM YOU’ The bills include a ban on police chokeholds and make it easier to sue people who call police on others without good reasons, as well as a special prosecutor’s office to investigate deaths during police encounters. It comes amid concerns about police accountability and use of force after the death of Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis last month.One other law would repeal section 50-A of the civil rights law, making complaints against officers public. Police unions fear that such a move will mean that frivolous complaints could be used against officers.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, center, hands a pen to Rev. Al Sharpton after signing into law, Friday, June 12, 2020, in New York, a sweeping package of police accountability measures that received new backing following protests of George Floyd’s killing. (Kevin P. Coughlin, Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)
They come as part of a national debate about police practices. Republicans have given their support to some reforms, with President Trump indicating support for limits on chokeholds, but have balked at calls to defund or even abolish police departments entirely. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that he intends to divert some NYPD funding to social services.Additionally, the state’s approximately 500 police departments will all have to come up with plans to address everything from use of force to implicit bias awareness training by next April under an executive order that Cuomo said he will issue.Cuomo was joined at the ceremony by a number of guests, including Rev. Al Sharpton and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, another black man killed during an arrest in New York in 2014.“These bills mean some substantive change, so that we won’t be sitting here going over this after the next funeral and after the next situation,” Sharpton said.Cuomo has 10 days to act on other bills passed by lawmakers this week, including legislation prohibiting police from using racial profiling and another bill ensuring that individuals under arrest or in policy custody receive attention for medical and mental health needs.“This is a day to celebrate — the culmination of years of work to change the dynamic and end the broken 50-A law,” de Blasio tweeted. “This is a huge step forward for accountability.”CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPThe NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA) warned that the laws will make an already tough job for cops even harder.“Governor Cuomo and our legislative leaders have no business celebrating today,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “New York state had been failing our communities for decades: failing to provide economic opportunity, failing to educate our youth, failing to care for the vulnerable and the mentally ill. Police officers spend our days addressing issues caused by these failures.”“Now, we won’t even be able to do that,” he said. “We will be permanently frozen, stripped of all resources and unable to do the job. We don’t want to see our communities suffer, but this is what Governor Cuomo and our elected leaders have chosen.”The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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