Reports of deaths caused by law enforcement are hard on everyone, but when the incident is preventable and due to abuse by the officers, it becomes a serious concern. To help combat police brutality issues, New York is trying to create reforms.
The New York Attorney General explains changes in the laws that handle unjustified or excessive use of force by officers will help adjust the standards and prevent future issues.
The state enacted the Police Accountability Act to increase the scrutiny on officer-involved incidents of force. It provides prosecutors with more ability to seek justice against officers misusing their power and position.
The main focus of the law is to make force usable only when it is the last resort option. Officers will have to try other methods of securing or subduing a suspect before they can use deadly force. It also sets some stricter penalties for those who break the law.
The key points of the act require officers to try other means of de-escalation before using deadly force. It also increases the justification for using lethal force from suspicion of criminal activity to require officers to have proof of a crime. It also allows prosecutors to consider if the officer needlessly escalated the situation, leading to the need for the use of force. Finally, it will set additional standards and penalties for officers found guilty of using force needlessly.
The ultimate goal with this legislation is to help officers better use force when dealing with suspects and to prevent any issues with the use in situations where it was not needed. It will help to add transparency to the system and hold officers more accountable for their actions.