Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move June 16, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Parker, Perry: Grateful for Signing of Police Reform Legislation 

Sen. Kevin Parker
Nick Perry
Assemblymember Nick Perry

State Sen. Kevin Parker (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace) and Assembly Member Nick Perry (D-East Flatbush) yesterday expressed appreciation to Governor Cuomo for signing into law New Yorker’s Right to Monitor Act’ – affirming the right of an individual to record law enforcement activity and to maintain custody of that recording and any instruments used to make the recording.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant!  The Right to Record Act will ensure protection for people who record misconduct by police. The senseless murder of George Floyd is a stark example of why transparency is needed. I appreciate Governor Cuomo recognizing the critical nature of this bill and signing it into law,” said Parker.

“There should be no cover, and no comfort for wrongful behavior in any police department, and as free Americans and New York citizens, we have always been informed and aware that we have the right and freedom to monitor and record acts of misconduct by bad apples in our police departments.  We are grateful for the Governor’s bold and positive leadership against relentless resistance from those behind the blue wall of silence. This new law makes it clear and unquestionable that as New Yorkers we are claiming and will exercise this right to protect us from the dishonorable actors who hide behind the badge while abusing the awesome powers we afford them as police officers,” said Perry.

Treyger: Division of School Safety Should Return to DOE

Council Member Mark Treyger

Council Member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend) called for the division of school safety to be removed from the NYPD and returned to the DOE. 

“Enough is enough. Incremental reforms to a system that does not want to be reformed are futile. We need nothing short of structural change. It is time for the Division of School Safety to be removed from the NYPD and returned to the DOE. Despite their outsized impact on a school’s climate and culture, School Safety Agents do not report to and are not accountable to principals,” said Treyger.

“At a time when students are experiencing more trauma than ever, we need to make sure that our approach to school safety is aligned to meet the holistic needs of children. School Safety Agents, most of whom are doing their best to keep kids safe within a broken system, are too-often called upon to intervene in behavioral crises because the vestiges of Zero Tolerance prioritize punitive interventions over social-emotional supports,” he added. 

In 1998, Rudy Giuliani pushed through a transfer of the Division of School Safety from the DOE to the NYPD, making New York City the first big city in the country to rely on the police to provide school security. 

Schumer, Gillibrand Co-Sponsor Bill on Helicopter Safety Equipment on Helicopters

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand co-sponsored the Helicopter Safety Act of 2020, a bill to require terrain awareness and warning systems, crash-resistant flight data, and voice recorders on all helicopters that carry six or more passengers. 

“Despite tragic helicopter crashes across the country and here in New York—from FlyNYON to the crash last year on a Manhattan tower—the installation of chopper warning systems and crash-resistant flight data and voice recorders has remained an elusive, basic safety standard the federal government has failed to mandate. The bill we introduced would heed safety recommendations the NTSB has all but begged for and ones New Yorkers know are badly needed,” said Schumer.

“After the tragic 2018 East River helicopter crash, New Yorkers continue to demand safer regulations to prevent this from ever happening again,” said Gillibrand. “We owe it to the memories of these five people lost too soon to pass the Helicopter Safety Act of 2020. I proudly join my colleagues to get this bill done, especially given the high volume of helicopters operating in the NY metro area.”

Since 2006, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued and re-issued recommendations urging this safety equipment be mandatory on helicopters. Yet, the FAA only requires certain helicopters, such as air ambulances, to carry it.

Cumbo Pushes #ChokeHoldBanNow

City Council Member Laurie Cumbo

City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo (D-Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Downtown Brooklyn) yesterday in her e-newsletter pushed hard in support of legislation to ban the New York City Police Departments use of chokeholds as a restraining method.

“In 1991, five NYPD officers murdered a man named Federico Pereira, who died of asphyxiation in their custody. According to the New York Times, the District Attorney who prosecuted the case said that “one officer had choked the 21-year-old man as he lay face down with his hands cuffed behind his back, but that all the officers had acted in concert to cause Mr. Pereira’s death,” Cumbo wrote. 

“A year and a half later in 1993, the NYPD banned chokeholds which was described as a “clarification and enhancement” of an earlier, 1985 rule against chokeholds. Nearly 25 years after Federico Pereira’s tragic death, New York City experienced the loss of Eric Garner, and “I can’t breathe” were words embedded in all of our worst nightmares.

“Eric Garner would suffer the same fate as Federico Pereira did with no justice for his loving mother, Ms. Gwen Carr. Despite the ban on chokeholds and the documented video evidence, it would take five years for the officer to even be fired. However, the officer was never criminally charged.

“In creating the Office of the Inspector General of the NYPD, we hoped to get to the root of the problem. In its inaugural report in March of 2015, the Inspector General found multiple instances where officers had “illegally used prohibited chokeholds,” and found that the department often disregarded the guidance of the Civilian Complaint Review Board when deciding whether or not to discipline officers. How can we expect officers to take the ban seriously if it is not enforced?

“So here we are, another five years later, DEMANDING that a real prohibition be codified into law. The legislation before City Council; Intro 536, would make the use of chokeholds a misdemeanor. This bill will be amended to include other deadly techniques, such as placing a knee on a person’s neck. 

“Almost a month ago, I put on my third “I can’t breathe” t-shirt, following the death of George Floyd. I don’t know how many more I can wear. I don’t know how much more black mothers in this city and this nation can take. We must legislate to create a world that works for all of us, with police officers that protect and serve everybody.

“We need a #ChokeHoldBanNOW!”