REUTERS: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday (Jun 1) called for a national ban on chokeholds and excessive force by police, and said he was concerned violent protests triggered by the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis could hinder New York City's reopening.
Cuomo also told a daily briefing that he was worried that demonstrations over the past few nights in response to George Floyd's death could cause a spike in coronavirus infections, setting back efforts to tamp down its spread.
He called on citizens to use this moment of unrest to push politicians to make changes to improve society. On policing, he called for a ban on chokeholds and excessive force, and for independent investigations of police abuse.
"It's not enough to come out and say 'I'm angry, I'm frustrated'," Cuomo said. "The protesters are making a point. But you have to add the positive reform agenda."
Cuomo said some of the actions by New York City police officers during the protests were disturbing, citing a video widely shared online that showed a police car driving into a crowd and another showing a demonstrator getting pepper sprayed.
At the same time, Cuomo railed against people who were exploiting the protests to loot and vandalise, echoing other political leaders in saying that outsiders were in many cases instigating violent acts.