ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo began his briefing on Friday by saying it was day 97 of the COVID-19 pandemic, and day 12 of the civil unrests and protests since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“This my friends, is a dangerous combination — colliding crises,” Cuomo said. “There’s a lot to learn from what we just went through and I believe it’s a transformation situation for society something we can really learn from going forward.”
The governor referenced the incident in Buffalo where two Buffalo police officers have been suspended after an incident that left a man lying on the sidewalk and bleeding from the head. The man is in stable, but critical condition.
“Why was that necessary? Where was the threat?” Cuomo asked after playing the video of police officers pushing the 75-year-old man on the ground. “I was sick to my stomach.”
The governor announced the state will be working to pass the Say Their Name reform agenda.
“It comes from the long list of names of people who we have seen who have been abused by police officers, by the criminal justice system, and Mr. Floyd is just the last name on a very long list.”
The four cornerstones for the Say Their Name Agenda is as follow:
- Transparency of prior disciplinary records — 50-a
- No chokeholds
- False race-based 911 reports should be a hate crime
- Attorney General as independent prosecutor for police murders
Cuomo called on people to change their behavior and create social change to heal the relationship between the public and the police.
He announced that 42 people have died from coronavirus overnight — comparing that number to 8 weeks ago, when 800 people had died.
“The people of the state radically changed how they behaved in a matter of weeks so we know we can change and we know we can change dramatically. People are focused, we have a plan and that’s when change happens.”
During his briefing on Thursday, the governor announced a COVID-19 testing plan for all protestors and encouraged everyone who protested, to go get tested. An additional 52 New Yorkers died overnight from COVID-19.
Cuomo also urged district attorneys offices around the state to review footage and arrest looters accordingly. “I understand the political environment, I also understand that the law is the law and they should charge crimes appropriately,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I want to thank the protesters who were mainly peaceful, which was smart because they could make their point.”
Downtown Rochester businesses are preparing for more protests on Friday.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in the area has gone up to 230 and there have been 3,004 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County.