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Gov. Cuomo Signs Legislation Requiring NYSP Officers to Wear Body
Cameras and Creating Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office


June 16, 2020   06:00 p.m.
    Press Release from Governor Cuomo's Office:

    Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Requiring New York State Police
    Officers to Wear Body Cameras and Creating the Law Enforcement
    Misconduct Investigative Office

    New Laws Will Help Promote Accountability and Improve Transparency in Law
    Enforcement

    Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation requiring all New York
    State Police officers to wear body cameras while on patrol (S.8493/A.8674); and
    creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office (S.3595-C/A.
    10002).

    "The relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve isn't
    working," Governor Cuomo said. "New York is the progressive capital of the
    nation, and we are leading the way by enacting real reforms to increase
    transparency in policing, promote accountability among our law enforcement
    agencies and ultimately mend that frayed relationship between the police and the
    community."

    Requiring Use of Body Cameras (S.8493/A.8674)

    This new law requires all New York State Police patrol officers to use body-worn
    cameras while on patrol to record immediately before an officer exits a patrol
    vehicle to interact with a person or situation; all uses of force; all arrests and
    summonses; all interactions with individuals suspected of criminal activity; all
    searches of persons and property; any call to a crime in progress; investigative
    actions involving interactions with members of the public; any interaction with an
    emotionally disturbed person; and any instances where an officer feels any
    imminent danger or the need to document their time on duty. The law also
    requires law enforcement to keep video records of all these interactions.

    Senator Kevin Parker said, "Too often injustices go unseen and police officers
    feel emboldened to act as judge & jury. Body cameras will diminish the trust
    deficit between the police and communities they serve. Thank you to the
    Governor for signing this critical legislation into law."

    Assembly Member Latrice Walker said, "As one of the largest state police
    agencies in the country, the New York State Police should be one of the first
    agencies to set an example, to show others how to properly use body cams to
    deliver transparency and accountability to the public. This legislation will help
    bring to light when excessive force is used, and hopefully ultimately reduce the
    number of "use of force" incidents and take a critical first step in repairing the
    trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."

    Creating the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office (S.3595-
    C/A.10002)

    This new law establishes the independent Law Enforcement Misconduct
    Investigative Office within the Department of Law to review, study, audit and
    make recommendations to police agencies in the State with the goal of
    enhancing the effectiveness of law enforcement; increasing public safety;
    protecting civil liberties and civil rights; ensuring compliance with constitutional
    protections and local, state and federal laws; and increasing the public's
    confidence in law enforcement. The Office will also handle misconduct
    complaints statewide about any local law enforcement agencies. Unlike the
    Special Prosecutor, which is triggered only upon a law enforcement related
    death, this will allow for an independent review of complaints of misconduct for
    any local law enforcement agency. For state police agencies, the State Inspector
    General and the MTA Inspector General and Port Authority Inspector General
    have their jurisdiction expanded to receive complaints of law enforcement
    misconduct.

    Senator Kevin Parker said, "It's way past time that New York ensured consistent
    oversight of local law enforcement across the state. The law enforcement
    misconduct investigative office will improve policies, practices and procedures by
    providing extra independent scrutiny to detect when our local police may be
    failing to address individual wrongdoing or systemic problems. I hope, when full
    functional, it will be a preventive measure to the misconduct that plagues our
    police departments and restores the confidence of our communities. Thank you
    Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation into law."

    Assembly Member Al Taylor said, "Years of police misconduct and excessive,
    oftentimes lethal, force in Black and Brown communities show that up till now the
    tools we used to address this issue within law enforcement agencies have been
    woefully inadequate. After the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far
    too many others, America came out to say enough is enough and demand real
    change. Establishing the law enforcement misconduct investigative office within
    the state attorney general's office will require police misconduct investigations to
    be led by an independent, impartial body rather than by local prosecutors. This
    shift will bring much needed transparency and accountability to law enforcement
    agencies throughout New York, creating a safer and more just system for all of
    us. Thank you Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law and helping New
    York lead the way in tackling the inequities of our criminal justice system."