NYS Legislature Passes Historic Series of Police Reforms

ALBANY, N.Y. – Amid ongoing demands for justice, New York lawmakers passed a package of police reforms that aims to disrupt ways in which law enforcement misuses its power against Black communities, and helps break the patterns of systemic violence. The legislation repeals section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law, which protects disciplinary records of law enforcement officers, criminalizes police chokeholds, and requires courts to publish racial and other demographic data on low-level offenders.

A statement follows from Rich Schrader, New York Policy Director at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“The world witnessed the horror of racism in America with the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the anguishing list of Black lives lost to police brutality. It’s long past time for Black New Yorkers – and Black people everywhere – to be treated with the dignity, respect and humanity that belong to them. New York lawmakers are listening to the grief-stricken demands for justice reverberating around the world and taking action. The repeal of 50-a and other measures will help hold law enforcers accountable and begin to dismantle the pattern of traumatic loss and violence perpetrated against Black communities.”

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​