Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D-Rochester) announced that he co-sponsored and helped pass law enforcement reform legislation aimed at increasing transparency and accountability within the system and protecting the rights of all New Yorkers.
Every person, regardless of race, is entitled to safety, dignity and respect, especially in the eyes of the law, the Assemblymember said. Yet time and time again, we have seen the disgraceful reality that deep-seated and systemic racism thrives in the heart of our law enforcement institutions. This is an unacceptable injustice that has taken the lives of innocent men and women like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others. Enough is enough. Im joining the protesters here in Rochester and the millions of protesters across America who are speaking up against the police officers who have abused their power and the system that enabled them. To that end, I co-sponsored and helped pass critical measures to begin the process of dismantling these harmful practices.
Bronson co-sponsored several key police reform bills from the legislative package, including a measure that would repeal section 50-a of the state Civil Rights Law, which barred the disclosure of police disciplinary records to the public (A.10611). Another bill would enact the Police Statistics and Transparency (STAT) Act, which requires courts to maintain and report records of arrests and court proceedings concerning low-level offenses (A.10609). Two other bills were specifically aimed at protecting the rights of citizens: one measure would establish a civil right of action for individuals in the case that a 911 call is made on the basis of bias (A.1531-B) and another that would enact a statewide ban on racial and ethnic profiling by law enforcement agencies (A.4615-A).
In addition, Bronson also co-sponsored several other bills in the legislative package, which included measures to:
- affirm the right of citizens to record law enforcement activity and maintain custody and control of the recording (A.1360-A);
- provide all state police officers with body cameras and stipulate when the cameras must be used (A.8674-A);
- require any police officer who discharges a gun to report the incident both verbally and in writing (A.10608);
- ban the use of chokeholds and similar restraints by members of law enforcement (A.6144-B);
- ensure police officers and medical personnel provide medical attention to persons in custody (A.8226-B);
- establish an Office of Special Investigation within the Office of the Attorney General to investigate incidents of persons killed by police officers (A.1601-C); and
- establish the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office within the Department of Law headed by the Deputy Attorney General to investigate complaints levied against local law enforcement agencies (A.10002-B).