Statement from Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

Tonight has been another night of heartbreak in the wake of the horrendous killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Protests have been unfolding across the country and here in New York. Let’s be clear - the reason for the protests themselves is warranted and too familiar. Tonight, two members of the Legislature, who stood in solidarity with the protesters in a peaceful manner and who were trying to help to calm the situation, were pepper sprayed and one was put in handcuffs. Our hope is the heartfelt demonstrations do not lead to more violence, injuries or worse. From what we have witnessed, there must be better coordinated efforts to help de-escalate tensions and allow for our citizens to protest injustices.