According to Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr, the riots going on in Baltimore should serve as a wake-up call to lawmakers in New York that something needs to change.
Carr, along with several relatives of police victims traveled to Albany, New York Tuesday to demand that Governor Andrew Cuomo sign an executive order that would allow special prosecutors to step in to investigate police-related shootings, The New York Daily News reports.
She went on to say that many of the people who are rioting in Baltimore have reached a breaking point and in many ways, they are risking their lives to protect the lives of others who are in danger of being killed off by police in the future.
“It is very sad to see the city burning like that but sometimes people get so frustrated and they say enough is enough,” she said about Baltimore. “It just seems to me just watching it that they’re just laying their lives on the line to protect other people in the future.”
As for lawmakers, Carr had this to say: “They need to wake up and see what’s really going on,” Carr said. “What caused this to happen? That’s the question they should ask and then correct that.”
Governor Cuomo had initially proposed criminal justice reforms that include appointing a special monitor to review cases involving deadly police encounters but has not gone as far as to allow special prosecutors to step in.
Carr and others, however, did not feel that this would be enough. Following their meeting Tuesday, Alphonso David, counsel to the governor, said that Cuomo promised to approve special prosecutors if the Legislature did not pick up his plan.
“We had a productive meeting, where both the Governor and the families of these victims had a detailed and respectful discussion on how to best reform the criminal justice system,” said David. “The Governor believes that his reform package is a balanced approach that would correct real and perceived inequities that exist within the system and he is intent on passing them in the remaining weeks of the legislative session.”
“He made it clear that if these reforms were not approved by the Legislature, he would sign an order creating a special prosecutor for police-involved fatalities,” David continued.
In a perfect world, lawmakers would have begun paying closer attention to these police-involved killings a long time ago. Hopefully, Governor Cuomo keeps his word and lawmakers across the nation will follow suit.
In other news, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that she will be sending two government officials to Baltimore to meet with faith and community leaders, as well as city officials.