Queens Lawmakers on the Move June 3, 2020

Queens County City Council News

Holden Calls for National Guard Deployment in New York

City Council Member Bob Holden

City Council Member Robert Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside) yesterday called for the National Guard to be deployed in New York City in the wake of riots, looting and vandalism throughout the five boroughs:

“The events that have unfolded last night in this city, and across the nation, run counter to the message of the peaceful protests striving for change and justice for George Floyd. Looting, rioting and vicious beatdowns of random passersby should never be tolerated, and the people committing these heinous criminal acts must be dealt with. Our men and women in the NYPD are overwhelmed, with several of them being crowded by rioters in their vehicles, or having bricks and Molotov cocktails thrown at them. While Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio sit in their secured ivory towers playing politics, our great city is burning; the final stage of de Blasio’s policies bringing us back to the 1970’s,” said Holden.

“It is time that we take back our streets, and that our police officers are given the support they need to deal with the anarchists who have taken advantage of peaceful protests. Governor Cuomo has said that the National Guard is ready, but Mayor de Blasio refuses to ask for their help while also admitting that the NYPD is stretched thin and cannot stop all incidents of looting. We need the mayor to stop pandering to political correctness and allow the National Guard to help New York City regain control.”

Lancman, Richards Legislation Addressing Police Misconduct Gets Wide Support

City Councilman Rory Lancman
City Councilmember Donovan Richards

City Council Members Rory Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) and Donovan Richards (D-Arverne, Brookville, Edgemere, Far Rockaway, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens) yesterday introduced legislation addressing New York City police misconduct that drew strong immediate support from lawmaker colleagues.

Lancman, chair of the Committee on the Justice System, introduced a measure that would make use of chokeholds a misdemeanor. This bill will be amended to include other deadly techniques, like placing a knee on a person’s neck. A hearing on this bill will be held on June 9.

“Eric Garner, George Floyd — how many black men in New York City and across America have to die crying out ‘I can’t breathe’ before we make police chokeholds and neck restraints a crime? They’re already banned by NYPD policy, but last year alone the CCRB substantiated a dozen chokehold complaints. It’s long past time we upped the ante before another person is choked to death before our eyes,” said Lancman. 

Richards, chair of the Committee on Public Safety, will have his bill heard in 2019 amended to call for the NYPD to create clear guidelines for police discipline. These guidelines, known as a disciplinary matrix, would be made public, giving all New Yorkers a better understanding of potential penalties for police misconduct. These systems are used in major police departments across the country to increase confidence in officers.

“NYPD officers, all of whom swore to serve and protect us under courtesy, professionalism and respect (CPR) should be held to the highest standard of law and public safety. The NYPD’s broken disciplinary system that has shielded officers lacked accountability and is an important step in restoring public confidence and trust, which is desperately needed right now. It will send a message to New Yorkers as well as every NYPD officer that fairness and transparency is the new standard and that no one is above the law, even if you’re enforcing it,” said Richards.

“The ‘bad apples’ eroding our city’s trust will no longer be defended or granted ‘white-shirt’ immunity,” he added.

Meng Statement on Death of George Floyd 

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park) this week said the nation is in pain and people are angry. Pain over the murder of George Floyd and anger over the unacceptable and systemic racism that continues to plague our country.

“The dehumanizing death of George Floyd should be enraging to every person. This is not an isolated event, but a result of another kind of virus that has infected our society for hundreds of years – that of structural and brutal racism. There is absolutely no justification for denying a person their God-given right to breathe. And yet, once again, we saw the brutal death of an unarmed African American man tragically and horrifically unfold before our eyes,” Meng said.

“Throughout the past few months, we have seen the undeniable disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color – as it lay bare the longstanding, systemic inequalities and disparities – be they socioeconomic, health, or housing.

“These injustices simply cannot continue. This is not the world I want my children – any child – to grow up in. The charges brought forth against the former officer who murdered George Floyd is a start – but we must do better. During this pandemic, I have seen firsthand the strength of a community – health care workers, law enforcement officers, grocery workers, and countless others – when everyone comes together in the face of enormous horror and challenges. We must work together to blaze a new, inclusive, and compassionate path forward.”

Sanders to Host Training on Absentee Ballot Application Form

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) today is partnering with the State and City Board of Elections and Southeast Queens lawmakers including Sen. Leroy Comrie, Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, and City Council Members Donovan Richards and Adrienne Adams to host a training on how to fill out an absentee ballot application form.

The training follows Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Orders relating to absentee ballot applications for the June 23, 2020 primary and special election. In addition to the potential to contract COVID-19, a voter may request an absentee ballot application for various reasons.

The training is slated for 12 noon, today, June 3on Facebook Live.Facebook.com/StateSenatorJamesSandersJr/

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