Families Call on Cuomo and Albany Leaders to Pass Special Prosecutor Legislation and Repeal 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-Bailey) before the end of session, and before the 5 year anniversary of the killing of Eric Garner by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo.
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"In addition to passing the Perry/Bailey special prosecutor legislation, we also need you to ensure that 50-a is repealed this session.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 Unless the police secrecy law, 50a, is repealed this session, crucial information will continue to be hidden from Eric Garner's mother and the public - and 50-a will remain a roadblock to Gwen Carr while she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."
Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, killed by NYPD in 2014
Ellisha Flagg Garner, sister of Eric Garner, killed in 2014
Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez, killed by NYPD in1994
Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega, killed by NYPD in 1995 Kadiatou Diallo, mother of Amadou Diallo, killed by NYPD in 1999 Valerie Bell, mother of Sean Bell, killed by NYPD in 2006
Oniaja Shepard, aunt of Sean Bell, killed by NYPD in 2006 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
Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham, killed by NYPD in 2012 Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, killed by NYPD in 2012 Natasha Duncan, sister of Shantel Davis, killed by NYPD in 2012 Angie Hicks, aunt of Shantel Davis, killed by NYPD in 2012 Carol Gray, mother of Kimani Gray, killed by NYPD in 2013 Victoria Davis, sister of Delrawn Small, killed by NYPD in 2016 Eric Vassell, father of Saheed Vassell, killed by NYPD in 2018