Cuomo: If a Community Doesn't Want Its Police Force, 'They Shouldn't Have It'

Says there's been a 'fundamental redefinition' of what Americans want from police

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) / Getty Images
June 17, 2020

New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) told NPR on Monday that if a community doesn’t want its current police force, "they shouldn’t have it."

"What the community is now saying, all across this nation, ‘We don’t want this type of police force.’ And if they don’t want it, they shouldn’t have it," Cuomo said.

Last week, Cuomo signed a package of legislation on police reform following protests over racism and police brutality spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Regarding the movement for police reform, Cuomo said in the NPR interview that "change comes when the people demand change and the government acts in that moment. Seize the moment. Carpe momentum."

Cuomo also signed an executive order requiring local governments to redesign their police departments "based on community input." Police chiefs must present plans on reforming their use of force to the public for comment. These plans must then be approved by local councils or legislatures.

Departments that fail to reform by April 1 will be defunded, Cuomo said on Friday.

Cuomo told NPR he believes more must be done to address police brutality, and that the country is undergoing a "fundamental redefinition" of what Americans want from their police forces.