Thomas H. Mungeer, President of the New York State Troopers PBA, demanded that New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett immediately remove all uniformed State Troopers who are currently stationed within New York City, and cease any law enforcement activities in the city.
Mungeer blamed the “hastily written so-called police reform legislation recently passed by the New York City Council” for this decision. This bill, which he described as “poorly conceived,” is expected to be signed into law by NYC Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday, July 15. The Trooper’s union asserts that it will open them up to criminal and civil liability for restraining someone during a lawful arrest, even if it is done in a manner that is consistent with the training the Troopers received, and is legal throughout the rest of New York State.
The union also claims that the legislation will prevent Troopers from safely and effectively arresting subjects who resist arrest. The new law will criminalize methods of restraint, including putting any pressure on a person’s chest or back. “These techniques are commonly used by many law enforcement agencies statewide and nationwide when officers are faced with violently combative subjects,” the union president said. “I find it extremely troubling that these acts are now defined as criminal in nature, even if they were unintentional and no injury was sustained by the subject.”
For the past five years, New York State Troopers, by the request of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s, have helped protect the city’s airports, bridges and tunnels against the threat of terrorism, while significantly increasing the safety of all New Yorkers and the millions of visitors who visit the city each year.
Although New York State Attorney General Letitia James can indemnify State Police members from this law, it is unlikely to happen, and the Troopers PBA maintains that if they remain in the five boroughs of New York City, they could be subject to criminal and civil liabilities for doing the job they were trained to do.