NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Council passed a package of police reforms Thursday as daily protests enter their fourth week.
The legislation addresses police misconduct, transparency and discipline, but if the City Council thinks it’s going to stop the protests, they’re mistaken because it does not address the protesters’ top priority, which is cutting the NYPD’s budget.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 18, 2020
Waving flags and filling avenues, protesters took to the streets Thursday for the 22nd consecutive day of demonstrations against police brutality.
They say reforms from lawmakers this week are nice, but they’re still fighting for bigger changes.
“That’s the crumbs that they’re trying to give us. We don’t want crumbs, we want the whole cake,” protester Regine Shabazz told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
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These three weeks of unrest caused the City Council to fast track a package of police reforms, which they voted to pass Thursday.
Among them, a requirement for officers to show their badge numbers, which council members say some cops were hiding during protests. The NYPD maintains black bands were worn to mourn officers lost to COVID-19.
The legislation also codifies a person’s right to record officers from a safe distance, and a disciplinary matrix will be created to make it clear what the consequences are for certain offenses.
“There’s a lack of transparency, accountability and fairness that pervades the New York City police department, and it encourages a culture of brutality and abuse,” Public Safety Committee Chair Donovan Richards said.
The package includes a requirement for the NYPD to publicly disclose information on its surveillance technology tools and how they’re used.
The detective’s union opposes this, arguing it could put members’ safety at risk.
“The City Council is asking to put that equipment out for the criminal element to know and to obstruct in the undercover operations done every day by New York City police detectives,” said Paul Giacomo, president of the Detectives Endowment Association.
The council reforms also criminalize the use of chokeholds with a ban that goes even further than the one passed by the state.
“It prohibits an officer from sitting, kneeling or standing on a suspect’s chest or back in the course of effecting an arrest,” council member Rory Lancman said.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 18, 2020
“I wanna be able to bring life into this world without being shot dead, but they’re saying they got new rules like that’s supposed to do something,” Shabazz said. “To make new rules and then to break them again, that’s the reason why we’re not asking for those things. We need to completely defund the police. We have other services that are underfunded and the $6 billion that is going towards the police is clearly not doing anything, it’s clearly not benefiting its people if these people are being killed in the middle of the street.”
The city’s budget is due in two weeks and the council is looking to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s funding.
That’s a stark contrast to their response to Eric Garner’s death in 2014 when the council voted to add more police on the streets.
Watch Natalie Duddridge’s report —
Protesters also gathered outside the iconic Stonewall Inn on Thursday to show their support for both the Black Lives Matter movement and Pride month.
The Stonewall Inn is considered the birthplace of the gay rights movement. The location and the community are no strangers to the fight for equal rights and against police brutality.
Thursday’s rally started off with a moment of silence for two black transgender women who were killed last week.
Demonstrators say transgender women of color are at a heightened risk for violence.
While protesters say there is still so much to fight for, they say there are small and big wins to celebrate, like the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday that employers can’t fire workers for being gay or transgender.