Gov. Cuomo threatens to withhold municipal funds unless action is taken to reform police departments

In this photo made from video provided by the office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Gov. Cuomo, signs into law, Friday, June 12, 2020, in New York, a sweeping package of police accountability measures that received new backing following protests of George Floyd’s killing. (Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

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UPDATED 2:35 PM PT — Friday, June 12, 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has threatened legislative action in hopes of forcing local governments to take action to reform their police departments. On Friday, Cuomo announced he would sign an executive order mandating municipalities “reinvent and modernize” their departments by the end of April 2021.

Failure to do so would make these local governments ineligible for state funding. Around 500 police departments will likely be affected.

According to the governor, linking funds to “systemic reform” is the only way to achieve dramatic results.

“There is no trust, there is a breach of the trust, and that has to be restored and repaired,” he stated. “The only way to do it is to get in a room, get to the table, let everyone say their piece and figure it out community by community, all across this state.”

Cuomo also signed a bill earlier in the day, which repealed a decades-old law shielding a police officer’s disciplinary record from the public.

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