The head of the New York State Troopers is demanding that all of its members be pulled from New York City in direct response to the legislation criminalizing the use of chokeholds by police, which was signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier today, the New York Post reports.
In a letter submitted on Wednesday, Thomas Mungeer, president of the New York State Troopers’ Police Benevolent Association, is urging the state's Police Superintendent Keith Corlett to immediately remove its troopers across the five boroughs because this bill will prevent them from "safely and effectively arresting resistant subjects."
"This poorly conceived bill, which will be signed into law by Mayor de Blasio today, puts an undue burden upon our troopers; it opens them up to criminal and civil liability for restraining a person during a lawful arrest in a manner that is consistent with their training and is legal throughout the rest of the state," Mungeer said. "Furthermore, this legislation will prevent troopers from safely and effectively arresting resistant subjects."
The New York Daily News notes that this newly signed legislation further expands on the already statewide ban on chokeholds, calling for an end to the practice of "sitting, kneeling or standing on the chest or back in a manner that compresses the diaphragm."
"The state law does not allow a chokehold or pressure on the neck — and again we don't teach that in the academy — but the local law goes beyond that and talks about any pressure on the back of the knee and chest,” Mungeer told the New York Post. "We aren't trained on that — that's a last line of defense — this local law goes above and beyond with the compression of the chest and the back."
Mungeer is threatening to take up their complaint with New York Attorney General Letitia James in the hopes that she will recognize their concerns over "opening them [their troopers] up to criminal and civil liabilities simply by doing the job they were trained to do."
The police chokehold criminalization bill is part of a package of police reform bills that includes requiring officers to make their badge numbers visible, as well as how they use their surveillance technology, among others.