Summary of Police Reform Bills

By Adriel Colón-Casiano

Annual Review of New Criminal Justice Legislation

Bill Number: S1830/A10609 (STAT Act)

Bill Summary: The bill imposes a requirement on the Chief Administrator of the Courts and upon law enforcement agencies to collect and make publicly available information on Law Enforcement and Court proceedings. The bill collects various data including race, ethnicity, age, and sex of the individual as well as the current status in the court. This bill also requires the reporting and publication of information related to arrest-related deaths.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1– Authorizes the Chief Administrator of the Courts to proscribe the forms needed to comply with reporting requirements under this bill;
  • Section 2-Explains expanded OCA reporting requirements which must include: (1) aggregate number of misdemeanors/violations charged, (2) The offense/violation charged, (3) Race, ethnicity, age, and sex of the individual charged, (4) Whether the individual was issued a summons or appearance ticket, subject to custodial arrest or arraignment, (5) Location of the misdemeanor/violation, (6) The disposition of the case, (6) If the case was dismissed and why, and (7) Sentence and fees imposed;
  • Section 2 (continued)– The chief administrator of the courts shall issue an annual report to the legislature with the data referenced above to be made available online and updated monthly. Nothing in the bill grants authority to release sensitive personal data;
  • Section 3– Requires reporting on arrest-related deaths. An arrest related death is defined as a death that occurs during law enforcement custody or an attempt to establish custody, including, but not limited to, deaths caused by any use of force. This data will be presented in an annual report to the governor and Legislature no later than February 1st of any year. The data must also be available online and updated monthly; and,
  • Section 4- Effective date 180 days after the bill becomes law.

Current Status: Awaiting delivery to Governor to into law.


Bill Number: S2575/A10608 (Firearms Discharge Reporting)

Bill Summary: The bill creates a duty to report to a supervisor that a law enforcement or peace officer discharged their weapon, whether on or off duty, where someone could be struck by a bullet from the weapon.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Adds a new section 837-v to the Executive Law to require law enforcement or peace officers who discharge their weapon, while on or off duty, where someone could be struck to verbally report the incident to their supervisor within 6 hours and prepare and file a report within 48 hours; and,
  • Section 2- Effective date 90 days after the bill becomes law.

Current Status: Awaiting delivery to Governor to into law.


Bill Number: S3253-A/A1360-A (Right to Record)

Bill Summary: This bill affirms through statutory enactment the right to record law enforcement activities.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Names the Bill “New Yorker’s right to monitor act”;
  • Section 2- Adds section 79-p to the Civil Rights Law entitled “Recording certain activities” which defines and delineates the right to record law enforcement activities. Adds a right of action for persons who are prevented from recording and establishes an affirmative defense for persons charged with a violation of this right;
  • Section 3- Adds a severability clause; and,
  • Section 4- Effective Date 30 days after the bill has become law.

Current Status: Awaiting delivery to Governor to into law.


Bill Number: S6670-B/A6144-B (Chokeholds Ban)

Bill Summary: This bill creates a new violent Class C felony for when a police officer obstructs the breathing or blood circulation and causes physical injury or death.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Names the Bill “Eric Garner anti-chokehold act”;
  • Section 2- Adds section 121.13-a to the Penal Law titled “Aggravated Strangulation”. Defines the offenses as when a police office commits the crime of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation as defined by section 121.11 of the Penal Law and causes physical injury or death. Class C Felony;
  • Section 3- Defines the offense as a violent felony; and,
  • Section 4- The bill takes effect immediately once it has been signed into law.

Current Status: Awaiting delivery to Governor to into law.


Bill Number: S8492/A1531-B (Prohibiting 911 Abuse)

Bill Summary: Creates a civil cause of action for summoning a police officer where there is no reason to believe a crime is occurring.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- establishes civil penalties for summoning a police officer or peace officer when there is no reason to believe a crime or offense, or imminent threat to person or property, is occurring; and,
  • Section 2- The bill takes effect immediately once it has been signed into law.

Current Status: Awaiting delivery to Governor to into law.


POLICE REFORM BILLS EXPECTED TO BE PASSED ON TUESDAY JUNE 9, 2020

Bill Number: S6601-B/A8226-B (Medical Attention in Custody)

Bill Summary: Creates a civil cause of action for failure to provide proper medical treatment while in the  custody of a police officer.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Establishes a new right of action for failure to provide reasonable and good faith attention, assistance or treatment by an officer; and,
  • Section 2- The bill takes effect immediately once it has been signed into law.

Current Status: Awaiting vote by the legislature.


Bill Number: S8493/A8674-A (Require Body Cameras)

Bill Summary: Requires the State police to provide officers with body cameras and develop policies related to body camera use.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Names the Bill “New York state police body-worn cameras program”;
  • Section 2- Requires State police provide all officers with body cameras and to establish policies of how and when they are to be used; and,
  • Section 3- The bill goes into effect on the first of April the year after having become law.

Current Status: Passed the Senate, Awaiting Vote by the Assembly.


Bill Number: S8495 (There is no Assembly Same-As) (Prohibit Racial Profiling)

Bill Summary: Creates Section 837-v of the Executive Law. Prohibits racial profiling and requires law enforcement agencies to adopt anti-racial profiling policies and complaint procedures. Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an again against violations by a law enforcement agency.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Creates a section 837-v of the Executive Law. Prohibits law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers from engaging in racial or tonic profiling. Requires the adoption of an anti racial profiling policy and procedures to review complaints. Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action of against a law enforcement agency that has engaged in racial profiling; and,
  • Section 2- The bill goes into effect immediately once it has been signed into law.

Current Status: Passed the Senate, Awaiting vote by the Assembly.


Bill Number: S8496 (Repeal Section 50-a)

See the Separate Summary

Bill Provisions:

Bill Summary:


POLICE REFORM BILLS EXPECTED TO BE PASSED ON WEDNESDAY JUNE 10, 2020.

Bill Number: S2574 (Attorney General Office of Special Investigations)

Bill Summary: Establishes the Office of Special Investigation with the Attorney Generals Office. Requires reporting in certain circumstances.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Establishes the Office of Special Investigation. Provides for investigative authority and criminal jurisdiction to the office. Requires the Office to issue a report when an investigation does not result in an indictment. Requires and annual report with recommendations;
  • Section 2- Creates a severability clause; and,
  • Section 3- The Bill takes effect April 1, 2021.

Current Status: Awaiting vote by the Legislature.


Bill Number: S3595 (Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office)

Bill Summary: Creates the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office within the Department of Law. Directs the State Inspector general, MTA Inspector, and the Port Authority Inspector General to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud, use of excessive force, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by officer agencies.

Bill Provisions:

  • Section 1- Establishes the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office within the Department of Law, provides for the appointment and term of the Inspector General, establishes its functions, duties, and powers, and states the responsibilities of state and local law enforcement agencies with respect to the Office;
  • Section 2- Directs the State Inspector General to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud, use of excessive force, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by any police officer in a covered agency;
  • Section 3- Directs the MTA Inspector General to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud, use of excessive force, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by any police officer under their jurisdiction;
  • Section 4- Directs the Port Authority Inspector General to investigate allegations of corruption, fraud, use of excessive force, criminal activity, conflicts of interest or abuse by any police officer under their jurisdiction;
  • Section 5- Creates a severability clause; and,
  • Section 6- The bill goes into effect on the first of April the year after having become law.

Current Status: Awaiting vote by the Legislature

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