Ny lawmakers striving for the new era of police accountability are poised to repeal a state law which includes long kept police officers’ disciplinary records secret, one of several steps to rein in officers spurred through the national uproar across the death of George Floyd.
As the state legislature worked toward eliminating the law Tuesday, New York City prosecutors moved swiftly to bring criminal charges against a police officer caught on camera shoving a protester to the ground during a demonstration in Brooklyn.
Police unions asserted that officers were being abandoned, and condemned lawmakers for allowing themselves to become relying on protests in which officers were injured by thrown objects and police vehicles were burned.
Eliminating legal requirements, called Section 50-a, would make complaints against officers, along with transcripts and final dispositions of disciplinary proceedings, public for the first time in decades.
Governer Andrew Cuomo, who may have recently supported reforming legal requirements, has said from the wake of your protests that he or she will sign the repeal. Only Delaware includes a similar law.
Momentum for ending the secrecy law reached a crescendo in recent days as marchers filled streets in Brooklyn, Manhattan and elsewhere to rally against police abuses – amplifying the calls of reform advocates who spent years pushing for improvement in the wake of other high-profile police killings, including that of Eric Garner in 2014.
“This is no time for rejoicing,” said State Senator Kevin Parker, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn. Banning police from using chokeholds, guaranteeing the right to record police activity and making it easier to file lawsuits against people making race-based 911 calls, “This bill has been around for over a decade … And the only reason why we’re bringing it to the floor now because the nation is burning.” The legislature on Monday passed other police accountability measures.
State lawmakers Tuesday were also anticipated to pass bills providing all state troopers with body cameras and ensuring that officers get proper mental and medical health attention for individuals under arrest or maybe in custody.
As lawmakers acted on accountability legislation, NYPD Officer Vincent D’Andraia was being arraigned on assault and other charges days after a bystander recorded him pushing protester Dounya Zayer, causing her to hit her head on the pavement.
D’Andraia was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The officer was ordered to step away from Zayer who had been hospitalized once the May 29 altercation using what she said were a concussion and a seizure.
“Dounya was assaulted for your very reason she was protesting, and that’s police brutality,” said Zayer’s attorney, Tahanie Aboushi, adding that D’Andraia’s supervisor should face punishment beyond an announced reassignment.
“If not just for this being on video it could have been business as usual to the NYPD,” Aboushi said.
In the statement announcing the costs, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said he was “deeply troubled from this unnecessary assault.” Zayer, 20, called D’Andraia a coward and suggested the assault would only deepen mistrust of law enforcement.
“I was protesting to get a reason,” Zayer said within a video tweeted from her hospital bed. The officer, she added, “should experienced the self restraint never to hurt individuals he’s supposed to be protecting.” Law enforcement department suspended28 and D’Andraia, a week ago without pay. His lawyer, Stephen Worth, didn’t immediately reply to a ask for comment. If convicted, he could face a year behind bars, but first-time offenders rarely see any jail time.
D’Andraia will be the first New York City police officer to deal with criminal charges over alleged misconduct exhibited during times of unrest that roiled the area inside the wake of Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.