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Cuomo Signs More Police Reform Bills

Office of N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo
On Monday, Governor Cuomo signed additional police reform bills into law, including the tracking of demographic data on arrest-related deaths.

Police in New York are now required to report when they fire their gun on the job. It’s part of several police reform bills signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday.

The new laws were part of a package of legislation approved last week in response to nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

One law will require the state to track demographic data on arrest-related deaths and low-level offenses. Another makes police officers liable if they don’t provide medical and mental health care to people in police custody.

New York State Police will also be required to wear body cameras while on patrol to record interactions with the public. A newly created unit within the state Attorney General’s office will review video records and investigate misconduct.

New York is one of the few states where the state police don’t have body or dashboard cameras.

New York State Police stopped using tape and later digital cameras on a limited number of vehicles when funding got tight.

Finally, police who fire their weapons will have to verbally inform their supervisor within six hours and file a written report within 48 hours.

Police unions have criticized the laws, saying police won’t fire their guns, in order to avoid the paperwork. 

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.
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