Gov. Cuomo: ‘Breonna Taylor’s death was murder’

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NEW YORK (WROC) — During a coronavirus briefing Thursday in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed how he felt about the Breonna Taylor case. A transcript of the governor’s remarks is available below:

“Breonna Taylor’s death. Breonna Taylor’s death was murder. People were outraged. Yes, because it’s outrageous. If a person was murdered, then there’s a murderer, right? That’s how it works. And, the underlying police action should never have happened in the first place. We at least have to learn from these horrific situations, and God forbid anything like that happened in this state.

“June 12th, I announced an executive order because we understand this situation now. And I announced that every jurisdiction must come up with a plan that reimagines their public safety function. And they must pass it into law by April 1 or they won’t receive funding from the State of New York. There is no greater sanction. None of these jurisdictions can survive without funding from the State of New York. April 1 coincides with our budget date. We’re now October. Why? Because they have to acknowledge and resolve the tensions that are there. And that’s not going to happen unless you have a quote unquote collaborative, which means put everyone at the table, raise the concerns, and resolve them.

“Because this is not Breonna Taylor or George Floyd. It has been going on for decades and decades. You may have reached the point of boiling where people are just saying I’m not going to take it anymore. But it has been going on for decades. It’s not going to go away on its own. And there’s real tension between the community and the police. Everybody knows it, everybody feels it. What do you think? It’s going to resolve automatically? What are you, the Trump theory on COVID? It’ll magically disappear. It’ll be gone by Easter. The president was in denial about COVID. I believe he was actually lying about COVID. But, lying, denial does not work. These tensions are not going to go away until you resolve them.

“‘Well, the police feel this. Well, the community feels this. Well, the police feel this, the community feels this.’ I know. I know. Not resolving them helps no one. They just fester, and actually they get worse. The more they fester, the worse it gets. And that’s what you’re seeing. And then it explodes every time you have an instant. The goal here is to learn and change, right. Progressive city, progressive state, what does that mean? It means yes, we go through bad things, but we take these situations as an opportunity to change and to progress. That’s what we try to do.

“Reverend Sharpton: Demonstration, organize the public spirit so you can make change with legislation, and then you get to reconciliation. The public outrage is to motivate the body politic so the government makes change. It’s not demonstration for the sake of demonstration. It’s not demonstration as event, as a catharsis. It’s demonstration to express to government, we have to change. And I know it’s the status quo, and I know it’s hard, but government, we have to change. That’s the point of the demonstration. Otherwise, it’s a pointless effort that only makes people more upset and more tense. There’s a productive point in protest, which is so that government gets the message. Okay, we got the message. Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, we got the message. Alright.

“Now make the progressive change. That’s where we’re at. They weren’t doing it. I said you have to or you don’t get any state money. 146 jurisdictions in this state have already sat down at the table and started the reimagining process. 146 jurisdictions. They have started. Starting is good because once you start to talk about it, that’s the first step. You’re putting people at the table, you’re talking about it rather than throwing stones, rather than throwing bricks, rather than being destructive, rather than being frustrated, that’s good. That’s good. Do it, start. By the way, you need a plan by April anyway. It has to be passed into law, which means you have to go through the legislative body, you have to go through the city council. That’s going to take time. You need it by April 1, you have to start now anyway. And now is the time to do it. If you don’t do it, everybody gets hurt.”

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