New York’s GOP Leaders Defend Law Enforcement In Southern Tier

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BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy and local Republican officials met Tuesday to back law enforcement officers ahead of the 2020 election.

State Sen. Fred Akshar (NY-52) and NY Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy were among the GOP leaders at a Back the Blue rally in Vestal Tuesday. (Jillian Forstadt/WSKG)

GOP leaders said they want to restore “law and order” ahead of the 2020 general election.

According to State Sen. Fred Akshar (NY-52), who is up for election this November, those running for public office cannot ride on the fence when it comes to supporting law enforcement. He said they either support police or they don’t, but he also said ongoing conversations about injustice can still occur simultaneously.

“Having a conversation about inequities or injustices is not mutually exclusive from supporting the men and women of law enforcement,” Akshar said.

The Back The Blue event comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced police departments across the state must draft and adopt plans to address racial bias by April 2021 or risk losing state funding. The executive order is part of New York Democrats’ push for police reform across the state.

Back in June, Cuomo signed into law a package of police reforms that increased police disciplinary records transparency by repealing 50-a of the civil rights law, banned chokeholds and designated the Attorney General as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.

Langworthy spoke against defunding local police departments and said these policies tie the hands of police. He also spoke against other legislation that has passed the Democratic-led legislature in recent years, such as bail reform, and the impact of those measures on officers.

“They don’t deserve to risk their safety making an arrest only to see a criminal walk right out the door thanks to the elimination of cash bail and New York’s new lousy system of revolving door justice,” Langworthy said.

Other GOP members in attendance included former Congresswoman and congressional candidate for New York’s 22nd district Claudia Tenney, Broome County Sheriff David Harder, Tioga County Sheriff Gary Howard, Endicott Mayor Linda Jackson and Assemblyman Christopher Friend (R-Big Flats).

Langworthy said the party will take their campaign in support of law enforcement around the state alongside GOP candidates for office.