New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a mandate for all jurisdictions in New York to submit a police reform plan by April 1, and Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan has unveiled her plan.

The plan to reform police policies in Albany comes as former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, is standing trial for the murder of George Floyd. Yesterday a young Black man, 20-year old Daunte Wright, was shot and killed by a different Minneapolis police officer when she “accidentally” discharged her weapon striking and killing him.

Additionally, a video was recently released of Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario of the US Army being doused with pepper spray while in uniform in Virginia. Mr. Nazario was driving his new SUV and was waiting for his permanent tags to arrive. His temporary tag was on full display in his rear window.

We’ve all seen a lot of footage and we have heard a lot of stories about police officers killing people of color, so reforming police policies is a must.

According to Spectrum News, Mayor Sheehan is proud of the work that she has done over the last several months. She said, “I certainly think that looking at how we respond to calls is critically important. We send police to almost every single type of call that we get, and oftentimes those calls do not require a police response.”

Mayor Sheehan went on to emphasize the importance of transparency and accountability. She also stressed the need for support for the officers who work the streets.

Albany City Councilman Kelly Kimbrough agrees with the fundamentals of the mayor's plan but believes that the plan is more a suggestion than a reform. He said, “The issue that I, and most councilmembers have, is that we didn’t really see this as a plan. It’s a set of recommendations, albeit good recommendations, a lot of effort and work went into putting those together, but we were looking for something outside of the box.“

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We are grateful for the effort that the mayor has put forth to try to fix the broken system of policing in Albany. Communities need police officers who are dedicated to fixing our problems and healing our communities. We are tired of seeing Black people being beaten and killed by the very people who have sworn to protect and serve.

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