The chokehold law was named after Eric Garner, the black Staten Island man who died in 2014 while being held in a chokehold by a police officer.
It also outlaws false race-based 911 calls, a move taken after the highly publicized incident in which a white woman called 911 after a black man, who was birdwatching, requested that she leash her dog.
The restraint tactic had already been prohibited by the NYPD, but today’s law makes chokeholds punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
“The truth is this police reform is long overdue and Mr. Floyd’s murder is just the most recent murder,” Cuomo said Friday. “It’s not just about Mr. Floyd’s murder. It’s about being here before, many, many times before.”
The new law, effective immediately, makes disciplinary records subject to Freedom of Information Law requests from journalists and the public, shining a light on the well-guarded files after decades of secrecy.
Cuomo was joined at the signing ceremony by the Reverend Al Sharpton, Valerie Bell, the mother of Sean Bell, who was killed by an officer in 2006, and Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed by police in New York in 2014.