Albany, N.Y.—State Senator Tom O’Mara, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, and members of the Senate Republican Conference today condemned extreme pro-criminal, anti-police reform policies and actions being driven by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Albany’s legislative Democrat majorities that are putting police officers and all New Yorkers at risk.
O’Mara and his colleagues continue to charge that New York State government under one-party control is to blame for policies like the failed bail and discovery reforms and questionable parole actions. The senators highlighted recent examples -- including the brutal attack in broad daylight of an Asian-American woman by a paroled, convicted murderer in Manhattan and the appointment of Richard Rivera, a paroled cop-killer, to sit on one of Cuomo’s “police reform” boards in Ithaca -- as the latest in a string of disturbing incidents that show an urgent need to stand up for law enforcement officials to restore common sense and public safety in communities throughout New York State.
O’Mara said, “We have been and we will always keep looking out for our police officers and their families. They have been abandoned in Ithaca and across the state and it needs to stop now. The appointment of a paroled cop-killer to a police reform board went too far. It was disrespectful, insulting, and an affront to all law enforcement officers risking their lives every single day to protect public safety in our communities.”
Ortt said, “One-party rule in Albany has led to a lot of bad policy -- but one of the most dangerous consequences has been the pro-criminal, anti-police rhetoric that currently permeates through state government. From the disastrous bail and discovery reform laws, radical appointments to the Governor’s parole board, and the appointment of a convicted cop killer to a police reform commission, the Governor and democratic Majorities in the Legislature continue to put every New Yorker at risk. We cannot continue to go down this course -- it’s time to restore common sense for the safety and security of all New Yorkers.”
O’Mara said that while Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and the Ithaca Common Council took the first formal steps last night and voted to approve a comprehensive police reform plan, more works lies ahead and they also voted to create a task force to determine the future of the Ithaca Police Department.
O’Mara said that Rivera should no longer participate in the Ithaca and Tompkins County police reform effort.
In a joint statement yesterday, O’Mara and Ortt said, “"The appointment of NYPD cop killer Richard Rivera to one of Governor Cuomo’s so-called 'Police Reform' boards in Ithaca and Tompkins County is a punch in the gut to police officers around New York State and their families. We understand the importance of second chances. But a second chance should never include giving power over police reform to a cold-blooded criminal who killed a member of our law enforcement community execution-style. It is completely inappropriate, and he should be removed immediately. Mr. Rivera never should have been appointed to this police reform board. The only value he brings is a shock factor to appease anti-police activists. We proudly support our men and women in law enforcement. These attacks against our police must stop."