Police Reform

NY Pols Want to Bar Departments From Hiring Cops With History of Misconduct

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Lawmakers in New York don't want police departments in the state to hire candidates who have previously been fired or investigated for misconduct on the force, and they have legislation ready to enact such a law.

In New York City on Saturday, Speaker Corey Johnson called for the need to stop "wandering officers" from making their way into the city's department. He was joined at National Action Network headquarters in Harlem by Council Member Francisco Moya and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Together, they said the city must ban the hiring of officers from other departments with a history of misconduct, whether they've been fired or investigated for misconduct.

"While transfers to the NYPD are not common, the goal of this legislation is to make sure that no one with a history of misconduct finds their way into the city’s police force," the city leaders detailed in their announcement.

The city already disqualifies NYPD applicants for domestic violence misdemeanors, dishonorable discharge from the military and felony conviction.

A companion bill will be introduced in the New York State Senate as well. Senator Brian Benjamin, who represents parts of Manhattan, plans to bring forward the bill that would similarly prevent departments from hiring officers from other departments with a history of misconduct.

"We have a police culture that is rooted in white supremacy and suppression and if we don't use the law to root it out and force accountability, it will never change," Benjamin said.

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