CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas takes a look at some of the changes coming to local departments.
In a groundbreaking move, the State Senate voted to repeal 50-A, a decades-old law that kept personnel records for law enforcement officers private.
With approval from the governor, all of that will change.
It’s among nearly one dozen police reforms being fast-tracked through the legislature this week, which include a chokehold ban.
It’s a big win for protesters who applied pressure with their endurance. The police reform they demanded wasn’t just aimed at Minneapolis, but their own communities.
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In New York City, the Ciy Council’s Public Safety Committee confronted the NYPD’s top brass, putting them on notice that things must drastically change.
“Pulling a mask down to pepper spray someone. These are things that are happening when they know they are being watched and filmed. What do you think is going on when they aren’t?” asked City Council Public Safety Committee Chair Donovan Richards.
The sometimes heavy-handed enforcement by officers towards protesters for many highlighted a deeper issue within the department that could no longer be denied and increased the sense of urgency.
Now, a series of reforms is being considered, including requiring officers to show their badge numbers, and making sure police can’t interfere with bystanders recording their activity.
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“Passing these bills is a step in the right direction but we have to go even further,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
The NYPD agrees more work needs to be done, but said current considerations would hamper officers’ ability to respond to crime, and providing residents more legal means of recourse doesn’t make anyone safer.
“We do not believe incentivizing new avenues to sue officers furthers reform or provides justice for crime victims or their families,” said First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker.
Even with pushback, there’s a commitment to change. All because protesters wouldn’t let up.