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NY Police Unions Ask State Officials To Include Officers In Policy Reform Discussions

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Eleven New York State Police Unions representing over 200,000 law enforcement officers have signed onto a joint letter condemning state officials for using violent riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death as leverage for political purposes.

Last week, thousands of protestors grew violent, torching and looting businesses and attacking police.

New York State is in crisis. For the past week we have witnessed a level of civil unrest – too often accompanied by violence and destruction – that our state has not seen in a generation,” the groups wrote. “As law enforcement professionals, we share the universal desire for healing and positive change. At this time, however, the first priority of government must be to restore peace and stability. No rational policy discussion can take place against a backdrop of burning police vehicles and looted store fronts.”

Some politicians in the state are seizing on the opportunity to push forward legislation to further regulate the police departments, the unions wrote, adding that the police are occupied with protecting citizens and their property that they haven’t been able to fully voice their dissent.

“This is reminiscent of the legislative process of 2019 that resulted in passage of significant changes to the bail and discovery statutes. Those amendments were infamously drafted with little to no input or discussion with law enforcement and the district attorneys and were included in the State budget. The resulting public outrage regarding the circumstances in which these amendments were enacted and the impact of these changes upon the public and public safety forced the Legislature and Governor Cuomo to significantly amend the law earlier this year – after only being in effect for three months,” they added.

The group also noted concerns over attacks targeting law enforcement and said that the legislative agenda will ‘destroy the morale of law enforcement, subvert our rights and standing in the community, and expose us to increased risk.’

This week, the State’s legislature has already passed an initial reform package, which includes a ban on chokeholds and racial profiling, according to reports.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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