ALBANY, NY - Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55), Chair of the Senate Committee on Mental Health, and Assemblymember Demond Meeks (AD-137) today announced legislation that would prohibit the use of chemical agents, including pepper spray and tear gas, by police officers against children under the age of 18. Lack of adequate policies and training, supervision, and accountability systems likely contribute to over-reliance on physical force and chemical agents. This legislation aims to protect our children from the harmful effects of chemical agents by clearly prohibiting their usage on minors.
New York State Senator Samra Brouk (SD-55): “The harrowing experience endured by a nine-year-old girl in our community—including being handcuffed and pepper sprayed—should never happen to another child. This legislation will ensure that when a child is in crisis, they will never again be met with such violence in the form of pepper spray or other chemical irritants. We know that trauma and adverse events in childhood have a lasting impact on the lives and health of individuals, and this legislation seeks to limit traumatic events happening to our children at the hands of law enforcement officers.”
New York State Assemblymember Demond Meeks (AD-137): “The events that took place last Friday evening shook me, and our community to the core. The same officers who are charged to serve and protect us instead brutally attacked a child of our community. As a legislator we are called to do more than offer words, we are called to change the laws to ensure this does not happen again. That is why I am introducing this bill alongside my colleague, Senator Samra Brouk, to stop all chemical agents from being used as weapons against our children.”
Senator Brouk and Assemblymember Meeks will hold a virtual press conference at 4:00pm on Monday, Feb. 1 to discuss this legislation. To receive the link to the press conference, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.