Albany, NY — In response to the slate of police reform bills passed by the state legislature this week, including full repeal of 50-a and the Police STAT Act, Stanley Fritz, Political Director of Citizen Action of New York, released the following statement:
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. Black and Brown communities have been demanding the right to live free of state-sanctioned violence and police brutality for decades. The family members of people killed by law enforcement in partnership with the statewide coalition, Communities United for Police Reform, laid the groundwork over years for fully repealing 50-a, the police secrecy law, and passing the Police STAT Act to bring meaningful transparency and accountability to police departments across the state. Yet it took a mass uprising of hundreds of thousands of people in the streets across the nation, and video after video showing law enforcement violence against protesters and people of color, to pass these reforms in the state legislature this week. We celebrate the legislature’s action and urge the governor to follow through on his public commitments and sign these police accountability measures into law immediately. But we can’t forget how much further we have to go to end mass criminalization, incarceration and police violence against Black and Brown New Yorkers in order to create real safety and stability in our communities.
Governor Cuomo and the state legislature, along with local governments, must make deep investments in housing, health care, social services and public schools, and shift resources away from law enforcement and incarceration. More police and more prisons do not make us safer. Well-resourced, equitable and thriving communities do.
Citizen Action of New York will continue to work with our directly impacted membership, allies and partners, and organize in every corner of the state to make that vision a reality.”