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Albany Common Council calls for police reform

Karen Tararache and WNYT Staff
Created: June 05, 2020 05:38 AM

ALBANY -- Around the nation, and now here in the Capital Region, we are hearing calls again for change to the rules and policies that guide police.

The Albany Common Council is looking at ways to put an end to police misconduct and hold police officers who commit crimes accountable.

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“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I can’t breathe.” Councilmember Joyce Love said.  

The demonstrations seen in many cities across America and even around the world are sparking conversations that change is long overdue.

“You have to change in your heart how you see us. You have to see us like you see yourself," Councilmember Corey Ellis added.

Following a press conference held outside of Albany’s City Hall, council members joined residents in peacefully marching.

They announced a series of five reforms. The first, repealing a 50-year-old law that critics say denies the public of transparency and holding bad cops accountable.

 “Police officers here in New York should not be allowed to hide a history of complaints and disciplinary records from the public,” Councilmember Sonia Frederick explained.  

They want the Albany Community Police Review Board to have penal power, and they are demanding all police officers have body cameras.

“When incidents happen the community should know the facts in real time which creates opportunity for the community to work with police,” Councilmember Owusu Anane said.

Among the reforms, a call on the police department, attorney generals and district attorney’s offices to set up a scholarship fund to allow those in underserved communities the opportunity to enter the criminal justice field.

If you say you're about fairness if you say you're about fairness we ask you to put your money where your mouth is,” Councilmember Jahmel Robinson stated.

If you are an Albany resident who wants to be a part of the weekly conversations either in person or via a Zoom conference with the mayor and police chief, you can email your contact information to change@albanyny.gov.

To hear more from the council members, click on Karen Tararache’s report.


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