NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his daily briefing from the New York City Friday as five regions of the state began phase three reopening.
The governor announced Thursday that the Rochester and Finger Lakes region was one of the five regions statewide that could begin phase three of reopening under the New York state reopening guidelines. The governor says the state’s reopening procedures are based on facts, and he says those facts say New York is doing well.
“New York state has the lowest rate of transmission, the virus is spreading at the lowest rate of every state in America,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We were the number one in the nation, number one on the globe per capita.”
The governor said what is happening in New York is different than every where else in the country currently.
“You have states now that reopened that are now scaling back their reopening,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We are the exact opposite. Since we’ve reopened, the number has continued to go down.”
During Thursday’s briefing, the governor applauded the New York State legislature for moving swiftly in passing police reform measures in the way of George Floyd’s death.
The new reform bills, which the governor said would be signed into law this week, include body cameras for New York State Police and the repeal of 50-A of the Civil Rights law, which currently shields police personnel records.
MORE | Police reform in New York: State Senate passes 50-A repeal, New York State Police body camera bills
“Talking is not enough, being angry is not enough. How do you transition that to action, and change, and results?” Gov. Cuomo said. “Moving forward, there’s more to do, and we’re going to do it in the state of New York.”
The governor once again said he stands with the protesters amid widespread civil unrest, and he says he hopes that anger and that energy turns into real positive change.
“Today is ‘enough is enough,'” Gov. Cuomo said. “How many times do you have to see the same case over and over before you do something? God bless this country for standing up.
“There is no quick fix,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This is systemic reform of police departments. This is sitting down and taking what they’re doing through a new lens of reform and reinvention.”
The governor announced he was signing an executive order that would require all municipalities to reinvent their police departments with community input. These plans need to be submitted by April 1, 2021, or that area would not be eligible for state funding.
Police forces must adopt a plan by April 1, 2021 to be eligible for future state funding and certify that they have:
- Engaged stakeholders in a public and open process on policing strategies and tools;
- Presented a plan, by chief executive and head of the local police force, to the public for comment;
- After consideration of any comments, presented such plan to the local legislative body (council or legislature as appropriate) which has approved such plan (by either local law or resolution); and
- If such local government does not certify the plan, the police force may not be eligible to receive future state funding.
“We are at a moment of reckoning, and I’m so grateful to have a role,” said New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins. “Fourty Senate Democrats who decided this was the time. After the murder of George Floyd, we finally got it.”
“Watching a man being suffocated, crying for a mother, it struck a nerve,” said New York State Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie. “We have many, many Republicans voting for these bills, because enough is enough. How much bloodshed had to happen before we said we had to be better?”
“We will not fund police stations that don’t reform themselves,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Regarding local COVID-19 numbers, Monroe County has had 247 deaths and 3,176 confirmed cases to date. The governor says infection rates, new cases, and new virus hospitalizations continue to trend downward across the state.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.