In New York (both the city and the state), there has been a flurry of legislative activity lately aiming to enact “police reform” in response to the riots engulfing the streets. These efforts have been taking place in tandem with executive orders issued by both the Governor and Mayor Bill de Blasio. But the recent raft of so-called reform bills to pass the City Council in Gotham has suddenly been put on hold. Hizzoner was expected to sign the bills yesterday as soon as they reached his desk, but at least for the moment, he’s keeping his pen in its holster. After all of his tough talk about bringing the NYPD under control, is the Mayor suddenly having second thoughts? (NY Daily News)
Originally planned for signature on Tuesday, NYC Mayor de Blasio is reviewing a package of police reform bills including a chokehold ban, following angry backlash from NYPD brass who said the legislation would weaken cops amid a major spike in crime.
At the end of a Tuesday public comment session on the police reform measures and three unrelated bills, de Blasio signed the latter but said he would approve the former “at a later date.”
While the mayor often signs legislation immediately after public comment sessions — and he said Tuesday that the police reforms mark “a watershed moment for our city” — he sometimes waits a few days to seal the deal.
De Blasio’s explanation doesn’t make any sense, leading me to wonder what his actual motivation here might be. The public comment period is over and the bills are ready to sign. By saying he’s going to sign them “at a later date” he’s not leaving open the option that he might refuse to sign them or call for modifications. So what’s the holdup? Is he just trying to insert a dramatic pause for theatrical purposes and to generate more clicks in the press? If so, that’s a pretty feckless approach to one’s executive duties.