An Open Letter To My Community Regarding George Floyd’s Legacy

An Open Letter To My Community Regarding George Floyd’s Legacy

Dear Neighbor,

The people of New York are carrying a heavy weight in their hearts and on their shoulders this month. News of George Floyd’s murder has reverberated through our community; a traumatic reminder of the decades of institutional racism we have endured. I hear your calls, and I am asking for your support to ban racial profiling (Stop-and-Frisk) by encouraging state legislators to vote for my sponsored bill A04615A. Lawmakers have consistently shelved legislation that protects the people, and instead voted for legislation that protects law enforcement. Today is the day we must be heard. Today is the day to end racial profiling once and for all. Victims of racial profiling include Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and many others.

My bill will:

  • Ban Racial and Ethnic profiling.
  • Require Data Collected by the Division of Criminal Justice Services on all spontaneous stops/Stop-and-Frisks. The bill will require the following data to be reported and made available to the public:
    1. the number of people stopped;
    2. the race, ethnicity, national origin and religion of such persons by observation;
    3. whether or not there was a frisk or a search;
    4. whether the stop resulted in an arrest or citation; and,
    5. the length of the stop.
  • Enable the Attorney General to bring an action on behalf of the people for injunctive relief and/or damages to stop the agencies’ improper actions, and;
  • Allow individuals and families to bring an action for injunctive relief and/or damages (monetary civil judgement).

Today, the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian (BPHA) Legislative Caucus is holding a press conference to address police reform at 3PM. I am a co-sponsor of the bill to repeal law 50-a, which protects police records. However, we must take this further. The repeal of law 50-a is not enough, that is why we are pushing to pass a group of bills that address transparency, police conduct, police procedures data collecting and more. Here is a list. I have called on my colleagues to join me in passing three police reform bills, including the one mentioned above, which I’ve introduced to protect our communities from racial profiling:

  • Bill A04615A/S01137A, which seeks to end racial profiling by increasing data collection and reporting standards for law enforcement agencies statewide; and establishes a course of action for injunctive relief or damages in cases of racial profiling.
  • Bill A03230, which relates to the right to record police activities, and provides a preservation of rights to bring a judgement in cases where police interfere with this right.
  • Bill A03231, which requires state and local law enforcement officers to identify themselves to the public during law enforcement activities.

I need your support to make sure our community is heard. We will not tolerate racial profiling any longer! I need you to call on your state legislators and demand that they support my three bills. Please call your New York State Assemblymember and New York State Senator and demand they add their names to these bills to end racial profiling.

You can find out who your state representatives are here. Just select your representative on the page to view their contact information.

Together our voices are stronger.

Thank you,

Rodneyse Bichotte

Rodneyse Bichotte represents parts of Central Brooklyn in NYS Assembly