Governor Cuomo Signs "Say Their Name" Reform Agenda and Issues Executive Order on Police Accountability

June 19, 2020 5:57 PM

In response to ongoing state-wide protests and marches, Governor Cuomo signed the ‘Say Their Name’ Reform agenda into law on June 12, 2020. HTC had previously endorsed these measures. The new laws include reforms in policing and criminal justice: a repeal and reform of section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, allowing disciplinary records of police to be released to the public in cases of misconduct, a statewide ban on police chokeholds, a prohibition of false race-based 911 reports, and the designation of the NY Attorney General as an independent prosecutor in cases involving the deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police. Read more on the ‘Say Their Name’ Reform agenda here.

Governor Cuomo also signed an executive order on June 12: “The New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,” requiring local police departments to adopt a plan by April 1, 2021 in order to be eligible for future state funding.

Under the Governor’s order, local police departments will be required to develop a plan addressing use of force, crowd control, community policing, bias and de-escalation training, restorative justice practices, and other issues raised by engaging the public in the process. In order for police departments to be eligible for state funding, those policies must be passed in the local legislative body as either local law or resolution. Read more on the executive order here.