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Former Washington Journalist
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In response to the tremendous national outpouring for police reform in the wake of the murder of George Floyd while in police custody, New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio signed into law Wednesday a sweeping NYPD Accountability Package.
Localities and police departments across the country have been looking to address the demand for change which emerged ever since Floyd’s May 25 murder while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn., jumpstarted the Black Lives Matter movement and sparked mass protests on streets across America.
The sweeping reforms will ban the use of chokeholds across the New York Police Department, protect the right of citizens to record police activity, require NYPD transparency on the use of surveillance technologies, establish an online NYPD “disciplinary matrix,” and ensure all NYPD officers have their shield number and rank designations visible at all times while on the job, according to an announcement from the mayor’s office.
“So much of what we need to do starts with people at the community level demanding change. That’s been true for generations. And the Black Lives Matter movement has to be a constant going forward, to help make sure we take each additional step that we need to take,” diBlasio said. “So this movement, and a lot of people here were active participants, not just in recent weeks, but over years. This today is a victory for you, because you worked so hard and your voices were heard. There will always be people who say that these things cannot be done.
“I remember very vividly in 2013, if you looked at what we were hearing day after day in 2013, you would have imagined it would have been impossible to end the broken and unconstitutional policy, stop-and-frisk,” the mayor added, referring to a police procedure under his predecessor which targeted the city’s black and brown residents. “We were sold a bill of goods, we were lied to every day, being told that if we ended that policy, there would be crime and chaos everywhere. And thank God, most of us didn’t listen to that hype.”
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