Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs law banning N.Y. police from using chokeholds

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June 12 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Friday banning police from using chokeholds on citizens and making race-based false police reports a crime.

The governor signed the law as well as an executive order requiring local police agencies to develop reforms amid worldwide police brutality protests in recent weeks.

"The protests taking place throughout the nation and in communities across New York in response to the murder of George Floyd illustrate the loss of community confidence in our local police agencies -- a reality that has been fueled by our country's history of police-involved deaths of black and brown people," Cuomo said.

"Our law enforcement officers are essential to ensuring public safety -- they literally put themselves in harm's way every day to protect us. This emergency regulation will help rebuild that confidence and restore trust between police and the communities they serve by requiring localities to develop a new plan for policing in the community based on fact-finding and meaningful community input."

The executive order said local police forces must adopt a reform plan by April 1 to be eligible for future state funding. They must also certify they've consulted with the public on policing strategies and gotten local legislative approval for a reform plan.

In addition to banning chokeholds and making false race-based 911 calls a crime, the state Legislature-approved law repealed what's known as a 50-a measure, which keeps police disciplinary records from public view.

The law also designates the state's attorney general an independent prosecutor in cases of police-involved deaths of unarmed civilians.

"There is no trust between the community and police," Cuomo said during a news conference. "That has to be restored and repaired.

Protesters demand justice in police killing of George Floyd

Protesters gather in Washington Square Park in New York City on June 9. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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