NYC Council passes sweeping NYPD reforms, including chokehold ban, increased transparency

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York City Council on Thursday voted to pass a sweeping set of police reforms that include a ban on chokeholds and greater transparency when it comes to NYPD surveillance.

"it's the right thing to do," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We have to give people confidence that policing will be fair, and I'm convinced this legislation will do it, and I will be signing it."

Twenty five days after the outcry over the in-custody death of George Floyd, the New York City Council passed six different pieces of police reform legislation, including two sponsored by Councilmber Vanessa Gibson.

One creates an early warning system for NYPD officers, while another requires the NYPD to disclose all data collected from surveillance systems like license plate readers, X-ray readers and cell phone towers.

"We believe a warning system would provide red flags that are necessary to identify those officers that are really in need of assistance," Gibson said. "Before the lawsuits and CCRB complaints amass."

The NYPD has taken issue with the surveillance bill, saying it could put officers and informants at risk.
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Danielle Leigh reports the New York City Council is expected to pass several police reforms initiatives Thursday that would create new requirements for transparency and place limits on the use of force by officers, including a ban on chokeholds.

Another protects of the right of protestors to record police activity, while another requires officers to display their badge number and rank at all times.

"This means uniformed police officers can no longer hide or cover their badge number during the protests and would provide for transparency and accountability," Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel said.
The bills get a jump on the April 2021 deadline set by Governor Andrew Cuomo to develop a plan to policing based on community input.

"The New York State Police reform and reinvention collaborative this is just starting, and it's going to be very important," he said. "And I think it's going to be transformative if we do it right."

The Council approved legislation that requires the NYPD to develop a disciplinary matrix that outlines penalties for violations and publicly reporting on the usage of the matrix.

"I am proud of the disciplinary matrix bill," Public Safety Committee Chair Donovan Richards said. "I think it's going to bring much needed transparency and accountability."

The reform package comes as City Council looks to cut $1 billion from the NYPD's budget.

PBA President Patrick Lynch released the following statement:

"When is the endless anti-police pile-on going to stop? The City Council's only accomplishment today was to duplicate laws that were just passed in Albany and further vilify the police officers who protect their constituents. Twenty-nine people have been shot in our city this week - what is the City Council doing about that?"

The Detectives' Endowment Association is asking the City Council to remove a one-sentence stipulation from the POST Act, which would make public the technology used by undercover NYPD officers. The NYPD endorsed the union's public plea.

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