Families Who Lost Loved Ones to Police Killings Call on Cuomo and Legislative Leaders to Pass Perry/Bailey Special Prosecutor Legislation & Repeal NYS Police Secrecy Law 50-a
New York - 16 New York family members whose loved ones were killed by police officers in New York state over the past twenty five years, called on Cuomo today to back (A1601A/S2574A) by Assemblymember Nick Perry and Senator Jamaal Bailey, after he threatened Monday to revoke the special prosecutor executive order he signed in 2015. The Perry/Bailey bill strengthens the 2015 executive order issued by Governor Cuomo and has previously passed the Assembly multiple times. Families call on all leaders to enact this and other important reform measures before the end of the legislative session June 19. Specifically, they called for the repeal NYS CRL Section 50-a, a controversial law known as the "police secrecy law" (A2513-O'Donnell/S3695-
They released the following joint statement:
"In the strongest possible terms, we urge Governor Cuomo to fully support and work to pass the special prosecutor legislation sponsored by Assembly Member Nick Perry and State Senator Jamaal Bailey before June 19. It is of the upmost importance that you prioritize the legislative solution that is backed by families who have experienced the death of a loved one at the hands of police. Merely codifying the executive order, which is too limited, and threatening to revoke the 2015 executive order if it isn’t codified is unacceptable and would be a huge step backwards. We urge you to work with leadership of the Senate and Assembly to get it done. The Perry/Bailey special prosecutor legislation would do several crucial things – it would address weaknesses in your 2015 special prosecutor executive order; provide the Attorney General’s office with jurisdiction in all cases of police killings and deaths in police custody; give the AG the authority to investigate and, when necessary, prosecute related crimes such as perjury and lying on official statements that are committed in the context of these incidents; and ensure that there is public reporting of activities of the special prosecutor.
"In addition to passing the Perry/Bailey special prosecutor legislation, we also need you to ensure that 50-a is repealed this session. As you know, July will mark five years since Eric Garner was killed by NYPD Officer Pantaleo. Unless the police secrecy law, 50a, is repealed this session, crucial information will continue to be hidden from Eric Garner's mother and the public - and 50-a will remain a roadblock to Gwen Carr while she continues to fight for justice for Eric, and to all police brutality survivors.
With Democrats in full control of the state legislature, it’s time for real progressive leadership that will deliver long overdue justice to families like ours and to communities harmed by police killings and misconduct. Strengthening and expanding the role of the special prosecutor, repealing 50-a and other bills in the Safer New York Act are necessary for increasing police accountability and transparency throughout New York. The Perry/Bailey special prosecutor legislation and the 50a repeal legislation now pending in the state legislature would help prevent future deaths and would help families win justice for the painful and unfair deaths of our loved ones. We urge you to maintain your commitment to justice by elevating New York as a national leader in criminal justice and ensuring the Bailey/Perry special prosecutor legislation is passed and that 50-a is repealed by June 19."
Valerie Bell, mother of Sean Bell, killed by NYPD in 2006
Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, killed by NYPD in 2012
Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small, killed by NYPD in 2016
Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis, killed by NYPD in 2012
Angie Hicks, aunt of Shantel Davis, killed by NYPD in 2012
Eric Vassell, father of Saheed Vassell, killed by NYPD in 2018
Nancy Pacheco, sister-in-law of Jayson Tirado, killed by NYPD in 2007
Jennifer Gonzalez, mother of the son of Kenny Lazo, killed by Suffolk Police in 2008
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment.
CPR brings together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those unfairly targeted the most by the NYPD. CPR is fighting for reforms that will promote community safety while ensuring that the NYPD protects and serves all New Yorkers.