Keeping the Peace: NY & NJ Police Records Temporarily Blocked, Federal Executions Resume, Cop Saves Baby

July 16, 2020, around the country, protests over police reform continue. In New York and New Jersey, new reforms have been proposed including significantly increased transparency around complaints and internal affairs reports of police officers. In this episode of Keeping the Peace, Bob Bianchi brings on Lisa Lockwood to discuss this and other stories.

The New York Police Union has sued to block the new ordinance by Mayor de Blasio requiring the public release of police records regarding complaints and disciplinary actions. Bianchi and Lockwood discuss the need for more transparency, but also the need for balance. While increased transparency regarding civil rights violations and criminal acts by police officers is clearly important to the public, there is also concern that over-transparency will result in largely good officers being publicly sentenced without due process. The key, both agree, is that both sides of the argument come together for mutually beneficial compromise.

In other news, federal executions, after a 17-year moratorium, have begun again. A series of Supreme Court rulings have allowed for 2 executions so far with a third scheduled. One of these cases brought up an interesting point about a convicted person’s competence. After so many years awaiting execution, does a person’s current mental incapacities give them the right to seek a ruling over their ability to endure execution? The Supreme Court ruled no, and therefore the execution moved forward.

On a brighter note, a Michigan police officer is seen on dashcam video saving an infant from choking by administering CPR. This is a reminder to everyone that there are thousands of police interactions that go right every single day and that we must keep this in mind when discussing the necessary police reforms the country seeks.