WPCNR SUNDAY GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO BRIEFING. By John F. Bailey May 31, 2020:
Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed what he called “a long and ugly night” of protests, demonstrations in New York and across the nation.
After reporting that Covid-19 deaths yesterday in New York State had dropped to 49 overnight and that 6 weeks ago the number of Covid new hospitalizations stood at 3,400 that day and now as of today there were just 191, he said,
“It was we the people we did it in just weeks. Use this moment. We controlled it.”
He urged New Yorkers and protesters to focus “on the change we want.”
He said going forward protesters, to honor the memory of George Floyd the first change must be that allegations against police cannot be investigated by local prosecutors, instead the charges must be investigated by an independent prosecutor.
Second priority, is to make it a law that past records of police officers must be made public in any investigation of officer conduct.
Third priority, the governor laid out was “there is no excuse for anyone to live in poverty.” He also argued every public school should provide the same level of funding for each child so there are not two education systems – one for the rich and one for the poor.
He encouraged protestors to keep working for these goals without violence to anyone or destruction of property.
He said the way they do that is by putting pressure on their representatives, “or vote them out.”
“That’s how this moment becomes a historic moment.”
He said, the follow through after the murder of Mr. Floyd, whom he described as not violent in any way in the Minneapolis arrest sequence resulting in his death which ignited the protests the last three days, he hoped would be recognized “as a time when we were different. It was a historic moment and we united in better things.”
“It takes political will, ” the Governor said. “Be specific in things you want.”
In the Question and Answer media interlude, the Governor said he was deploying national guard to Rochester and have state troopers on standby in other parts of the state. He said he expects more protest activity this evening.
The Governor deployed additional State Police officers to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany in advance of planned protests in those cities. State Police are at the ready to help any other municipalities in need and the National Guard is on standby.
He said he advised Mayor William DeBlasio of New York City and the police Commissioner that if the state Attorney General investigation of police conduct in the demonstrations in Brooklyn the last three nights found the need for charges, the inviduals would be “held accountable.” The governor said he found some of the incidents he viewed of the demonstrations he found “inexplicable.”