Speaking at his press briefing on Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took a shot at police in his state, snapping, “I announced an executive order on June 12th, which was ambitious. It was called the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. What it said is, we have an issue and we have to address the issue. Very little has been done.”
The New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative, an executive order signed by Cuomo on June 12, stated:
WHEREAS, there is a long and painful history in New York State of discrimination and mistreatment of black and African-American citizens dating back to the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in America; and WHEREAS, this recent history includes a number of incidents involving the police that have resulted in the deaths of unarmed civilians, predominantly black and African-American men, that have undermined the public’s confidence and trust in our system of law enforcement and criminal justice, and such condition is ongoing and urgently needs to be rectified …
WHEREAS, recent outpouring of protests and demonstrations which have been manifested in every area of the state have illustrated the depth and breadth of the concern .. WHEREAS, black lives matter … I, Andrew M. Cuomo … do hereby order and direct as follows …
Each local government entity which has a police agency operating with police officers as defined under 1.20 of the criminal procedure law must perform a comprehensive review of current police force deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, and develop a plan to improve such deployments, strategies, policies, procedures, and practices, for the purposes of addressing the particular needs of the communities served by such police agency and promote community engagement to foster trust, fairness, and legitimacy, and to address any racial bias and disproportionate policing of communities of color.
Cuomo began the segment of his briefing dealing with crime by acknowledging, “New York City, murders are up 29% year to date. Shootings are up 79% year to date. Bronx, 60%. Brooklyn, 102%. Manhattan, 54%. Queens, 75%. Staten Island, 108%. You cannot dismiss these numbers.”
Cuomo then argued that the huge numbers of “black and brown” viciims in the murders were a result of a lack of “social justice” and lack of “civil rights,” saying:
You cannot look at this reality and say it doesn’t exist. Because the reality is so clear. New York City, recent data, over 90% of the victims are black and brown. 90% of the victims are black and brown. You want to talk about social justice? You want to talk about civil rights? You want to talk about social equity? How do you explain that? It’s not just New York City, it’s all across the nation.
It’s also Upstate New York. Upstate cities, shooting injuries up 70% year to date. Albany, shootings up 240. Buffalo, 66%. Rochester, 54%. Syracuse, 130%. So it’s not just New York City. I announced an executive order on June 12th, which was ambitious. It was called the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative. What it said is, we have an issue and we have to address the issue. Very little has been done.
“Denial is not a successful life strategy,” Cuomo pontificated. “Not in government, not in your personal life. This state does not run from a crisis. It’s not what we do. It’s not who we are. And we’re not going to deny that this is a crisis. What do we do in a crisis? Leaders lead, and leaders act. This is a time for leadership, and action.”
He repeated, “Denial doesn’t work. ‘Well, let’s ignore it, and maybe it’ll go away.’ It’s not going away. It’s not going away. The relationship is frayed. The relationship is based on trust and respect. And the relationship is ruptured. But divorce is not an option here. Divorce is not an option. You can’t say, ‘We don’t need any police, and the police department.’ Oh, really? And then what happens at two o’clock in the morning when someone’s coming through the window and you hear the glass break. So divorce is not an option.”
Painting himself as tough, he continued, “You have to resolve the and reconcile it. I understand it’s politically difficult. I understand politicians don’t like to get involved in politically difficult situations. I don’t lust for politically difficult situations, but it has to be done. It has to be done quickly.”
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