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Leg. Solages calls for the use of body cameras

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Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis last week, Nassau County Legislator Carrié Solages is calling for police officers to wear body cameras.

In a letter to County Executive Laura Curran on June 2, Solages noted that Nassau County police officers “are well-trained, hard working, upstanding members of our community, and it is important that they are not painted with a broad stroke because of the actions of former Officer Chauvin,” the police officer who pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes before he stopped speaking or moving.

But, Solages said, several of his constituents have expressed their support of Nassau police officers wearing body cameras. “Residents state that body cameras are used by law enforcement throughout this county, and creates transparency by providing a factual record of what occurred in all encounters between police officers and civilians,” Solages, a Democrat from Valley Stream, explained. “This transparency not only benefits our residents, but can also save the county money in litigation, and protect our police officers from false allegations.”

This is not the first time Solages has advocated for the use of body cameras. In 2014, he co-sponsored legislation to introduce a police body camera program, but the bill was never called for action. Additionally, an agreement he had with former County Executive Ed Mangano’s administration failed because it did not include input from police officers.

Now, however, county officials are negotiating their collective bargaining agreement with police unions, which Solages said, should include a discussion about body cameras.

Members of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus are also scheduled to present a police reform legislative package tomorrow in front of the Nassau County Supreme Court.

This story will be updated as it develops.