The Safer NY Act

Introduction

June 2020 saw the passage and signing of the Safer NY Act.  This signing into law by Gov. Cuomo comes after years of organizing, advocacy and effort by many community groups, organizations and individuals. 

 

The signing into law of the Safer NY Act brings with it the passage of three critical priorities: the Repeal of 50-A, the Police STAT Act and the Special Prosecutor law.  

 

Read more about the other NY State Police Reform legislation passed and signed into law in June 2020 on the NY NOW blog.  

 

The next several posts will highlight the Repeal of 50-A, the Police STAT Act and the Special Prosecutor law. The Safer NY Act was highlighted in week one of our posts.

 

Click the links below to view the three highlights of The Safer NY Act.

Repeal of 50-A

The Police STAT Act

The Special Prosecutor Law

Repeal of 50-A

The Repeal of 50-A was part of the package of New York State bills intended to enhance transparency and accountability within police departments.

Assembly and Senate Bills (Laws)

50-A relates to the disclosure of law enforcement disciplinary records and repeals the section related to those records.  Read the Assembly Bill A.10611 here or  the Senate bill S. 8496 here.

Legislator's Perspective (Testimony)

Listen to the perspective of a handful of those currently within the Legislator on the Repeal of 50-A on NY NOW or read more about it on the NY NOW blog.

Post Repeal of 50-A (Current Events)

Learn more around some of what has happened since the Repeal of 50-A as part of the Safer NY Act.

 

The Police STAT Act

Under this legislation, the Police Statistics and Transparency (STAT) Act police departments across the state are required to record & report demographic and geographic data on enforcement of low-level offenses (including violations and misdemeanors) to improve the transparency of policing activities. The STAT Act also requires comprehensive public reporting of deaths in police custody. 

 

This year, the bill passed for the fifth year in a row in the New York State Assembly and passed for the first time in the New York State Senate where it then went to the Governor to be signed into law. Read the New York State Assembly Bill A10609/ New York State Senate Bill S 1830C

 

The STAT Act requires statewide reporting on 

  • The total number of people who die during an interaction with police or in police custody, including demographic information.

  • The geographic location of enforcement activity and arrest-related deaths.

  • The total number of arrests and tickets for violations and misdemeanors, and information on their disposition.

  • The race, ethnicity, age and sex of people who are charged with violations or misdemeanors.

NY Governor and Lawmakers Call for Public Access to Police Records (Laws)

Cuomo: Police Disciplinary Records Should Be Publicly Available - Watch Here

 

State Sen. Jamaal Bailey on Public Access to Police Records - Watch Here

Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Report)

The STAT Act provisions were part of recommendations from former President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Read the Task Force on 21st Century Policing final report as well as on the New York NOW blog.

NY State Police Reform Legislative Passage (Laws)

Read the full Legislative Package addressing state wide police reform that passed by both New York State Assembly and Senate and signed into law by Governor Cuomo the summer of 2020. The New York NOW blog also highlights the bills passed, including these first five to pass in the package.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (Testimony)

Read about Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the first African-American woman, and first woman to lead the Senate, personal story around systemic racism.

The Special Prosecutor Law

This legislation authorizes the Attorney General’s office the jurisdiction to make legal decisions and judgements in all cases of police killings and deaths in police custody.  This legislation will strengthen and memorialize Executive Order 147(EO147). The bill will help to ensure fair and thorough investigations and – when warranted – effective prosecutions that the criminal justice system has failed to address.

Authorization of the Special Prosecutor Legislation (Laws)

Read the New York Senate Bill S2574/ New York State Assembly Bill A1610 on the authorization of the Special Prosecutor legislation.

Special Investigations and Biennial Reports (Laws)

Read more on the Special Investigations and Biennial Reports by the New York State Attorney General under Executive Order 147.