The City Council will vote on two controversial pieces of legislation aimed at increasing transparency and changing practices at the NYPD.
Sources tell NY1 City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will hold a vote on a bill that would criminalize the use of a chokehold. A second measure, which would require the NYPD to create a standardized system to discipline officers, will also be sent to the floor for a vote at the Council’s next stated meeting.
The chokehold proposal has long been opposed by the de Blasio administration.
The bill was first introduced by Councilman Rory Lancman in 2014, shortly after the death of Eric Garner, who died after being put into a chokehold by a police officer.
De Blasio has said he would use his veto power — which he has yet to use since taking office — to block the bill.
The second measure, sponsored by Councilman Donovan Richards, would require the NYPD to create a disciplinary standard or “disciplinary matrix” for all officers.
“Right now, there is no disciplinary standard in the police department,” Richards told NY1. “There is no written instruction on what a disciplinary action should be if an officer commits an infraction. This will set an example.”
Sources tell NY1 that Johnson has secured enough votes on both proposals, but it is unclear if both bills have enough support to override a mayoral veto.
The council will also vote on two resolutions in support of state legislation that would repeal a law that currently shields police officers’ disciplinary records from being released to the public.
Supporters of the repeal effort say having access to officers’ disciplinary records would improve transparency.
The move to pass the legislation comes amid days of tense protests in the city and across the nation, following the death of George Floyd, who died in the custody of Minneapolis police. His death was captured on video, which shows an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as Floyd repeatedly says “I can’t breathe.” That officer has been arrested and charged, but civil unrest has continued.
The same words Floyd said as he lay dying were said by Eric Garner back in 2014. The death of Garner touched off days of protests in the city and helped to launch the Black Lives Matter movement in America.
Violent protests broke out in the streets of Brooklyn Friday night and continued through the weekend. Hundreds have been arrested and several officers have been injured.