Protesters ask state senators to stop accepting campaign contributions from police unions

Members from several activist groups aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement called on all six of Long Island's Democratic state senators to stop accepting campaign contributions from police unions.

News 12 Staff

Jun 18, 2020, 9:04 PM

Updated 1,402 days ago

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As protests against racism and police brutality continue, demonstrators are targeting lawmakers with a challenge.
The cry of "no cop money!" echoed from protesters in Rockville Centre Thursday. Members from several activist groups aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement called on all six of Long Island's Democratic state senators to stop accepting campaign contributions from police unions.
Nikhial Goyal, with Young Long Island for Justice, says he believes lawmakers need to choose a side.
"Police unions are one of the greatest road blocks to achieving systemic change in our criminal justice system," says Goyal. "If you want to stand with black lives, you cannot take money from the police unions."
The group said if lawmakers don't refuse police contributions, they should instead donate them to communities of color or bail funds.
Suffolk PBA President Noel DiGerolamo says those issuing those calls should be "ashamed of themselves."
"You don't want to have dialogue, you want to just keep threatening, labeling someone a racist to extort them to get them to do what you want," he says. "It's enough already. Stop."
Nassau PBA President James McDermott said in a statement, "It is wrong for such groups to attempt to intimidate elected officials so that they will not support the very police officers who keep us safe. We hope that our local leaders will continue to stand up for those who serve and protect us, and not succumb to such misguided pressure."
State Sen. Anna Kaplan's director of communications also shared a statement, saying, "No contribution of any size influences any government decision or action under any circumstances, and the senator believes that anyone who is influenced by one isn't worthy of their office, and deserves to be removed."
State Sen. Monica Martinez says, "I'm particularly grateful to the thousands of first responders who have invested in my races," and says she will not be beholden to anyone because of a financial contribution.
A statement from state Sen. Todd Kaminsky reads in part that he's "beholden to no one and will always act with the best interest of his constituents in mind."
 


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