New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is signing into law on Friday a sweeping package of police accountability measures that received new backing following protests of George Floyd’s killing, including one allowing the release of officers’ long-withheld disciplinary records.
The measures were approved earlier this week by the state’s Democratic-led Legislature. Some of the bills had been proposed in years past and failed to win approval, but lawmakers moved with new urgency in the wake of massive, nationwide demonstrations over Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
The laws will ban police chokeholds, make it easier to sue people who call police on others without good reason, and set up a special prosecutor’s office to investigate the deaths of people during and following encounters with police officers.
Some bills, including body camera legislation, drew support from Republicans, who opposed legislation that repealed a state law long used to block the release of police disciplinary records over concerns about officers’ privacy.
Eliminating the law, known as Section 50-a, would make complaints against officers, as well as transcripts and final dispositions of disciplinary proceedings, public for the first time in decades.
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In This Story: Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Mark Cuomo is an American politician, author, and lawyer serving as the 56th governor of New York since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the same position his father, Mario Cuomo, held for three terms. He has served as Chair of the National Governors Association since August 2020.
Cuomo received national attention for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York and has written a book about his experiences of the event – released on November 10th 2020.
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In This Story: George Floyd
George Floyd was an African-American man who died on 25th May 2020 in Powderhorn, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, following police arrest. Video recording by a witness, showing Floyd repeating “Please”, “I can’t breathe”, and “Don’t kill me”, was widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by media. The incident led to widespread protests across the United States.
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In This Story: Police
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In This Story: Republicans
The Republican Party, sometimes also referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its main, historic rival, the Democratic Party.
It was founded on 20th March 1854 and has its contemporary headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States. The present leadership is Ronna McDaniel (chairwoman).