Photo Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin / Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said Mayor Bill de Blasio must reform the NYPD, warning that if “he doesn’t want to do it, Corey Johnson, City Council speaker, could do it [as could] Donovan Richards, public safety councilman.” On Friday, the governor set a time frame for the project: it must be finished by April 1, Chol HaMoed Pesach (well, Cuomo didn’t actually mention the Jewish holiday, but it would make it easier to remember next year).

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In addition to NYC, Cumo’s executive order compels 500 state municipalities to reform their police departments by April 1, 2021. To show that he meant business, the governor also banned police chokeholds and repealed a law that allowed police departments to keep secret individual officers’ disciplinary records. And on Sunday, the governor signed a bill permitting citizens to record police activities.

Earlier on Sunday, de Blasio tweeted: “It’s hard to talk about white privilege. I increasingly understand what I don’t understand, and I have to find a way to see more clearly. Structural and institutional racism — it pervades the lives of so many, and yet for me, I have not spent a day in my life where that was the reality. That clouded me, that surrounded me and held me back.”

On Sunday, three Orthodox Jews from Brooklyn and two catholic priests filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of New York State, against Gov. Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, and Mayor de Blasio for their “blatant double standard” – letting Black Lives Matter protesters cram the streets without maintaining social distancing and often without face masks, while at the same time forbidding public prayer in synagogues and churches in the city.

The suit singles out Mayor de Blasio, who reportedly ignored his own face mask, social distancing and 10-person limit guidelines when attending a George Floyd memorial event in Cadman Plaza – after police removed Orthodox kids out of a Williamsburg park for violating the same rules.

In April, de Blasio destroyed his relationship with the Chassidic community of Williamsburg—which voted for him as a block, with his infamous, anti-Semitic tweet: “My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.”

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