Senate Republicans, Nassau PBA president voice opposition to repealing 50A

New York state is on the verge of a massive criminal justice overhaul following the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.
New York lawmakers voted this week to pass sweeping police reform legislation. It includes a total of 10 bills, including the Eric Garner Act that prohibits members of law enforcement from using chokeholds.
It also includes measures regarding racial profiling and transparency. One bill appoints the attorney general as special prosecutor whenever a person's death is caused by a police officer.
Tracey Edwards is the Long Island Regional Director of the NAACP. She says the reform is a long time coming. She says the measures should not be taken as being anti-police.
"It's about transparency and accountability and justice for all people," said Edwards.
Pete Paterson is vice president of the Nassau PBA. He wouldn't go into specifics, but he says the PBA agrees with some but not all of the bills. Paterson says the PBA starkly opposes repealing 50A - the law that keeps police disciplinary records confidential. He says the unions should have been part of the discussion.
"Now the police officers are being villainized. We all know the vast majority of our members are hardworking individuals," said Paterson.
Senate Republicans say some change is necessary and did vote for some of the bills, but not all.
Minority Leader John Flanagan released a statement saying in part, "The brutal killing of George Floyd is a horrific tragedy that never should have occurred."
It goes on to say that repealing the 50A law "provides records that include false accusations made against officers. It allows is a flood of information requests to obtain information on officers who currently face heightened anti-police rhetoric ... this is another Democrat policy that could lead to potential danger."