NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tuesday was a day of protest and civil disobedience one year after the death of George Floyd.
A small but symbolic group was arrested after it stopped traffic at the Holland Tunnel for nine minutes and 29 seconds, the same amount of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
“What he did disgusts me to this hour of this day. And it tells us that so much more needs to change,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said the last 12 months have been a time for reflection and reevaluation.
“For the family of George Floyd, some sort of justice. But it really doesn’t bring the person back and this is about, you know, a man that lost his life. A lot has happened since,” Shea said. “We’ve been working on things we can do better as a police department.”
PROTESTS AND POLICE REFORMS
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Changes to the Civilian Complaint Review Board to make cops more accountable, a diaphragm law that goes further than just banning chokeholds, disbanding the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit are just some of the changes.
But with violent crimes skyrocketing, there is pushback on the demands by some to further defund the police. The latest NYPD crime stats show a 93% increase in shooting victims for the week ending Sunday: 52, compared to 27 in 2020. It’s up 102% for the last four weeks.
Security expert Manny Gomez, a former cop, said bring back the Anti-Crime Unit to get the guns off the street.
“I’m all for reform, but let’s not punish 40,000 law enforcement officers that are trying to do their job and putting their lives at risk to do it for some bad apples,” Gomez said. “Let’s not handcuff the good police officers.”
Meanwhile, de Blasio admitted he didn’t handle the death of Eric Garner the right way.
“I believed at the time that the right thing to do was to defer to the U.S. Department of Justice. That proved to be a mistake and I own that,” he said.
And if Attorney General Tish James has her way, there will be more police reform. She’s seeking a law that will limit police use of force, changing it from one of necessity to one of absolute last resort.