NYC Public Advocate Hails Repeal of 50-A, Chokehold Ban, and Other Police Reforms

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[Repeal of 50-A\Chokehold Ban\Police Reform]
Williams: "Together with finally banning chokeholds, enhancing oversight and investigations of officer interaction, and helping prevent false emergency calls that initiate them, the progress made today shows the power of protest to effect change."
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NYC Public Advocate has praised the repeal of the 50-a law which protected cops from accountability by shielding their records from the public.

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams has hailed the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law, among other measures including banning chokeholds, enhancing civil penalties for false or hate-based 911 calls, and granting the state Attorney General further investigatory power over cases when an individual dies in officer custody.

Governor Cuomo has signed the legislation.

"Today is a victory for transparency, for accountability, and for the continued pursuit of justice in policing. 50-A has shielded officers from accountability for years, and hindered individual justice and systemic progress. I thank the Legislature for passing this repeal and the Governor for signing it," Williams said.

"Together with finally banning chokeholds, enhancing oversight and investigations of officer interaction, and helping prevent false emergency calls that initiate them, the progress made today shows the power of protest to effect change."

"Primarily, though, I want to lift up and offer gratitude to the directly affected families and the activists who have gotten us here through years of dedicated advocacy, and the officials like Senator Bailey and Assembly Member O'Donnell who championed the 50-a repeal long before it was politically popular, much less imperative. Similarly, the chokehold ban is a measure that we have pushed since Eric Garner's death in 2014, and I commend Senator Benjamin and Assembly Member Mosley for their legislative leadership," Williams said.

"We have been demanding change not for weeks but for years, and it's vital to remember that while these actions come after 13 days of disruption, these same actions could and should have been taken years earlier in this ongoing movement for justice," he added.

"Repealing 50-a is not a singular solution to the issues that have spurred these protests, no act taken today is. There is much more work to be done, and as the state has now shown a willingness to start the much-needed process of enacting transformative, systemic change, we will continue that work in the streets and halls of government."

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