By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of police reform bills on Wednesday afternoon including legislation banning NYPD officers from using chokeholds.
The New York City Council passed the sweeping package of police reform bills last month but de Blasio refused to sign the bills after backlash from NYPD officers who said that the legislation would weaken the force amid a new spike in crime.
In June, the number of gun violence throughout the five boroughs spiked significantly compared to last year. Between June 1 and June 30, the city saw a 130% increase in shootings, 250 versus 89 in 2019.
After being pressed by reporters during Wednesday morning press conference, de Blasio Mayor Bill said he would sign the package of police reform bills later in the day.
Before signing the six pieces of legislation, de Blasio joined Bronxites, community leaders and fellow lawmakers like chokehold bill sponsor Councilmember Rory Lancman to paint part of yellow Black Lives Matter mural outside of the borough’s courthouse on Morris Avenue.
“This is a moment of not just crisis and challenge,” de Blasio told reporters and community leaders gathered next to the mural on Morris Avenue. “This pandemic, this economic crisis, this cry for social justice… it is also a moment of transformation.”