NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Riding a wave of public anger over police-involved killings, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a packaged of legislation Wednesday to overhaul the NYPD. It includes a chokehold ban that critics say will make it more difficult for officers to do their jobs.

For a mayor criticized for not doing enough to stop gun violence, it was a moment of stark symbolism, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported. He helped paint a Black Lives Matter mural in the Bronx before signing a package of bills reforming the NYPD.

“This is a powerful day. Powerful day for so many reasons. And it’s a moment when you can feel change coming,” de Blasio said.

The bills required the NYPD to develop standard disciplinary procedures, report the types of surveillance technology it uses, make public disciplinary complaints filed against officers and force cops to display badge numbers and display other identifying information. It also puts into law the right to record interactions with police.

“We fundamentally believe strikes the necessary and delicate balance where we support the work of the NYPD, we work collaboratively with them, but we also stand for reform,” City Councilmember Vanessa Gibson said.

“I believe we can find a way to hear those real concerns, to keep people safe, to retrain our officers the right way,” de Blasio said.


One of the most controversial is the chokehold bill, which in addition to outlawing chokeholds prevents cops from sitting, standing or kneeling on a suspect’s back or stomach – the diaphragm.

In response, the State Troopers union is demanding state police remove troopers stationed in New York City.

“The criminal and civil liability I believe is too great for them performing their jobs,” NYSTPBA President Thomas Mungeer said.

“If the mayor were doing his job properly, we wouldn’t have these issues. If the DAs were prosecuting the laws, we wouldn’t have these issues. But what we’re seeing now is chaos in the city of New York,” Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins said.

An NYPD training video obtained by CBS2 instructs cops on what is not allowed. It offers few solutions on what the cops can do, Kramer reported.

Police experts like John Jay College Professor Joe Giacalone, a former cop, says it could make cops afraid to make arrests or resort to other means to corral suspects.

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“You’re going to see a rise in the use of non-lethal devices such as Tasers, nightsticks, pepper spray. They’re just going to incapacitate people before they place handcuffs,” Giacalone said.

“I know many in the Police Department, including many I truly respect, are concerned. They’re concerned about some of the additional language about diaphragms. I’m signing the bill because I believe we can make it work,” de Blasio said. “They’re saying, in the effort to keep us safe, they want to make sure they can do their job our behalf, and I take that at as an honest concern.”

Privately, NYPD officials tell CBS2 they have begged the mayor not to sign that bill.

No one from the NYPD was present at the signing.

Comments (7)
  1. Tenn says:

    Throw DiBlasio out! He is short on common sense and intelligence. Placing citizen lives on the line and not protecting the right men and women of the law! and, Taking cues from a bunch of Marxist. Get him the hell out of NYC!

  2. Lin H. says:

    I know this may come as a shock, but not all suspects are willing to cooperate in their own arrest. Some are violent, some are armed, some are high off their asses. Sometimes a suspect has to be restrained on the spot with very little reaction time, which often requires forcing them to the ground and securing them there. Only an abject and unreasonable hatred of the police could justify criminalizing the most basic necessity of policing.

  3. Denzel says:

    Out with the pepper spray, the batons and tasers then. If our police will be criminalized for maneuvers meant to subdue then they need to enforce at a greater distance.

    And,hey, De Blasio, while you’re busy making cops’ lives tougher maybe work on keeping criminals behind bars instead of sending them back onto the street, or is that one too challenging for you?

  4. sassygirl8318 says:

    Oh yes, we see the change already. It’s in the news every day – gun violence up, no respect for the police, violence against the police. Its a sad day for NYC. Bring back Bloomberg!

  5. Millie says:

    Police reformed is need. More training and social education is a must. They should have special community involvement and they should be in good physical fit for the task of their job. I for a know these seems a lot but in every other profession there are requirements in order to qualify job and to be part of the policy institution should not be an exception. They should reform the 25 year of service retirement and they should work to retirement age as anyone else. Only the one that love their job will probably remain. In general, they all have good (cadillac) benefits and that is good but not everyone enjoys those benefits at retirement.

  6. CYRUS says:

    I want to see effective reforms in order to discourage a repeat of what happened to people like George Floyd and others, but just as important now is that our City officials must act to stop this escalating gun violence which puts us all in jeopardy, and they are clearly not doing nearly enough.

  7. TF Millar says:

    Save the thugs, to heck with cops.

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