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Cuomo urges communities to reform police forces within nine months

Cuomo signs New York police reform law
Cuomo signs New York police reform law 10:33

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo urged communities in the state on Saturday to reform their police forces over the next nine months, saying they would receive no funding from the state if they don't.

"You tell us, county by county, city by city, what police force do you want," Cuomo said, explaining that he wanted communities to make decisions within nine months in order to "birth a new vision for the police force."

Cuomo said that if counties and communities don't pass laws to reform their police forces, they will not receive state funding. He said April 1, 2021, will be the deadline for these changes.

"If you don't want state funding, then you don't have to do it," Cuomo said. 

He said protesters don't need to demonstrate anymore, arguing they "won" and localities now agreed police forces should be reformed.

"They reorganize, reform, redesign, however they see fit," Cuomo said about communities. He said local governments need to convene stakeholders, including the police and community activists.

Cuomo signed police reform legislation into law on Friday, after the state legislature passed a bundle of bills this week. Among the bills are a repeal of law 50-A, a statewide ban on chokeholds, automatic appointment of a special prosecutor to cases of police killing unarmed civilians, and a law making fake race-based 911 calls a crime.

Cuomo on Saturday also gave an update on coronavirus in the state, as the infection rate across New York continues to go down. He said 50,000 coronavirus tests are done across the state every day, and added that data was guiding the way for reopening the state economy.

"We have tamed the beast," Cuomo said, referring to the virus.

According to the governor, 32 people in New York died due to the coronavirus on Friday — the lowest number of deaths in the state since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. However, Cuomo noted that 22 other states in the country were seeing a rise in coronavirus cases.

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