The state of New York become one of the first to take credible action in an effort to check police practices after the recent killing of George Floyd. The use of chokeholds is now banned. Other major changes include repealing a 50-year old law that allowed the police to keep their disciplinary records a secret.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the expansive package of bills less than three weeks after Mr. Floyd’s death at the hands of the police in Minneapolis, which has since sparked widespread civil unrest and demonstrations against police brutality and racism.
New York City also took tentative steps toward meeting protesters’ calls to “defund the police.” On Friday, the City Council speaker, Corey Johnson, said the Council had identified $1 billion in cuts to the Police Department’s $6 billion budget, and would urge Mayor Bill de Blasio to agree in advance of the July 1 budget deadline.
Mr. de Blasio quickly rejected the proposal, while indicating that he was open to further negotiations over the size of the Police Department. “The mayor has said we’re committed to reprioritizing funding and looking for savings, but he does not believe a $1 billion cut is the way to maintain safety,” said Freddi Goldstein, Mr. de Blasio’s press secretary.