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New York AG Proposes Raising Threshold For Police Use Of Force

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New York State Attorney General Letitia James has proposed legislation that would raise the standard for when police can only use force as a last resort.

The draft legislation adds a number requirements that police must first exhaust before using force, including de-escalation and lower levels of force.

Suffolk and Nassau County Police said they already employ such methods. Earlier this week, Nassau police said they avoided shooting a man who pointed a BB-gun at two detectives last weekend.

However, James’s legislation would give local prosecutors more ability to bring criminal charges.

“It's a gray area that has been outlined and identified by prosecutors in our office charged with investigating police related killings,” James said.

Suffolk and Nassau police unions didn’t immediately respond for comment. New York City’s police union said the legislation would make it “impossible” for officers to know when they can use force and will cause officers to avoid confrontations.