New York State lawmakers discuss additional police reform measures

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ALBANY, NY – The New York State legislature continues to take up police reform measures this week following the civil unrest over the killing of George Floyd.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has the latest from the State Capitol on what they’re focusing on today.

One bill will require New York State Police to wear body cameras. 

Another repeals section 50A of the Civil Rights law. It currently shields police personnel records.

((Michael Gianaris, NYS Senator)) How did we get to this point? Because too often the police themselves, their union leaders, their defenders take an adversarial approach as if no one can do anything wrong if they’re wearing a badge.

Senate Bill 8496 lifts the shield on police disciplinary records. 

Under the bill home addresses, personal telephone and cell numbers, email addresses of officers and their families are protected.

But, some say it doesn’t provide police ‘due process.’

((George Borrello, NYS Senator)) The very nature of law enforcement is one that entices many vengeful perpetrators to retaliate by filing groundless complaints.

Now those unfounded complaints will become fodder to discredit officers or even worse they may trigger anger and violence. 

Meanwhile a bill that requires New York State Police to wear body cameras had broader support. 

((Kevin Parker, NYS Senator)) This is going to be an important step in terms of regaining the trust of the public and making sure that both our police remain safe and our citizens have the kind of confidence that they should in their law enforcement agencies. 

((Fred Akshar, NYS Senator)) Think they’re beneficial to both the community as well as the members of law enforcement themselves. 

The State Police body camera bill would take effect in April if it becomes law. 

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