tv New York Gov. Cuomo Holds News Conference CSPAN May 31, 2020 8:59pm-9:35pm EDT
testifies before the senate judiciary committee on the fisa application process and the possible ties between the trump campaign and russian officials. fbi's investigation was eventually taken over by special counsel robert mueller. watch live coverage of the hearing beginning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. c-span.org. or listen live wherever you are on the free c-span radio app. new york governor andrew cuomo announced the state's attorney general will be investigating the new york city police department's conduct after the governor also gave an update on other states' responses.
gov. cuomo: good morning. let me introduce who is with me. to my right, robert -- state of new york. to my left, melissa derosa. secretary to the governor. to melissa's left, today we are joined by major chris west from the new york state police. last night was a long and ugly night, all across this nation. n. let's talk about where we are today, with the covid virus first. the number of hospitalizations are down again. intubation is down again. is stillr of new debts dropping. all good news.
downumber of lives lost, to 56, which is, in this absurd reality we live in, actually very good news. it will be a point at which the number of deaths cannot get any will die ofe people covid virusnd the is very good at effecting those with other illnesses. this reduction in the number of deaths is tremendous progress, from where we were. have gone through hell and back, but we are on the other side. it is a lesson for all of us. night all was an ugly across this nation. it was an ugly night across this state.
we had a number of protests city, the state, new york cities upstate. we have seen a lot of disturbing video about the protests. i have asked the attorney general to review the new york city protests and the actions and procedures that we used. i will ask her to include in are review, these demonstrations that were ongoing last night. if there are additional demonstrations tonight, the attorney general will be reviewing those actions. upstate new york, we also had actions. we had significant police presence across upstate new york. we have the national guard on standby. protests additional tonight and we are preparing for
such. rochester, the county executive and mayer asked for additional police tonight. we will have 200 additional state police. the big issue is that people are outraged. i understand that. i am outraged. it is not just george floyd's killing, although that is enough to outraged nation. breonnaorge floyd and taylor. king 30 years of rodney and others. states all over this nation. only the name changes, but the color stays the same. you have the first press conference by prosecutors, looking at the minneapolis situation. it raised more questions than it answered. the real issue is the continuing
racism in this country. endemicronic and it is and institutional. it speaks to a collective hypocrisy. we have very good at telling other people how to live their lives and how they should act. we preach a high standard, but we still discriminate on the basis of color of skin. that is the simple, painful truth. this is a moment for truth. at the same time, it is equally true that violence never were. how many protests have we had? how many nights have we gone through like last night? how many times have we burned down our own businesses, our own neighborhoods and our own communities? burning down your own house
never works and it never makes sense. burning down your own struggling businesses. people trying to bring back the community. it dishonors mr. floyd's death. mr. floyd was not violent. mr. floyd was compliant. mr. floyd was not even charged or accused of a violent crime. there was no violence. that is what makes the killing more outrageous. when you are violent, it creates a scapegoat, to shift the blame. it allows the president of the ,.s. to tweet about looting rather than murder by the police officer. it allows the federal government to politicize what is going on.
theories blaming the extreme left, which only furthers the politics of division. said, hate has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet. the goal has to be affecting change. how do you use the energy to mobilize people to actually perform society and make things better. do not tell me that we cannot change because we know that we have and we know that we can. change comes when the stars line up. it is not easy, but when the stars line up and people are ready to change, they can change. we have seen it happen in this
state and in this nation. we created a new civil right for the lgbtq community, when we passed marriage equality. we said, we would no longer discriminate comes to marriage and telling people who they can love and who they cannot love. after the sandy hook massacre, when people saw the madness of an assault weapon killing senseen, we passed common gun reform in this state after decades of trying. inequalityord income -- we had record income inequality, and people said enough is enough. that is when we passed free college tuition. people can change. we have seen that lesson over
the past 92 days, as we have been dealing with this coronavirus. 50 days ago, on april 12, we lost 800 people from covid. yesterday we lost 56. 800 to 56. 50 days ago, we had 3000 400 people coming to our hospitals. yesterday we had 191. who did that? who made that remarkable change, that radical change? who made all that progress? the government did it? no. let's be honest. most government leaders denied that covid was a problem. most did not know what to do. or if they didn't know what to do, they did not know how to do it.
it was not government. it was weak, the people. we, the people, forced that change. we did it in weeks, literally. of course we can change. our challenge today is to use this moment, use this energy real,uctively and demand positive change. articulate what the change is that we want. be specific. we know what must be done. we know what we can do and we know what can be done. we know it should be done immediately. demand that the federal government and every state government passed a law that says allegations of police abuse cannot be investigated by prosecutors because self investigation does not work period. it must be done by an outside agency.
demand that we defined excessive force by one standard, all across this nation, so every american lives by the same standard. if a police officer is accused of wrongdoing and is being investigated, release their disciplinary records, so people can see what the prior acts of that police officer were. demand that every public school provide the same level of funding for a child, so we do not have two education systems in this nation, one for the rich and one for the poor. there is no reason and no excuse today for any child to live in poverty. we know that. demand that change. if our government leaders will not do it, or cannot do it, or do not know how to do it, then you vote them out.
that is how you make change. are fair-minded, decent, kind and loving individuals. we need to mobilize the best in our people, rather than allowing the worst. do not lose the passion. do not lose the outrage. be frustrated, but be smart. constructive. help your community, do not hurt your community. be a laser and focus on positive change. that is how this moment becomes a different moment in the history books. deaths how george floyd's does not become another name in a long list of people, who should have never died in the first place. george floyd must not have died in vain.
killing must be a moment in which this nation actually learns and grows and progresses to make this place a better place. we can do it. it, if we are smart together. make america the land that fulfills her promise of greatness for all americans. that is what this is all about. we can do that. we have shown what we can do. use this moment. use this empowerment. , and usemobilization it for good. use it for good. so that when we look back, we this story was all too
some ways. to mr. floyd was all-too-familiar. but the outcome was different. , and itome was historic was actually a moment of positive change. that has to be our goal. angry, youngom the protesters on the street, frustrated, energized, lashing officials onment both sides of the line. to the police officers, 99.9% of them, who are good, hard-working people, trying to help their communities. it is a common goal. we just have to be smart enough to get there. questions?aca --
there are videos of nypd officials pepper spraying protesters. -- was nypd of much response appropriate? gov. cuomo: these situations are difficult. i have seen them. i have been there. everybody is under stress. they are difficult situations to manage. the police are in an impossible situation, in many ways. their behavior is everything. i have seen those videos. those videos are truly disturbing. are of the videos inexplicable to me. it? do we do about i have asked the attorney general, who is an independent,
theted official to review police conduct activities in the protests last night, the night before and one tonight. informed independent, review of what was done right, what was done wrong. i want that report in 30 days. i do not want this to be another government, ongoing report that comes out when everybody has moved on. get it done in 30 days. do not pull any punches. tell the truth. everybody saw the video. everybody wants an explanation. let's get the explanation from the attorney general, and let's make it informed and smart, but let's get it done quickly. reporter: what about tonight and tomorrow? gov. cuomo: tonight, the nypd -- and he with the mayor
understands the situation. the police commissioner understands the situation. they know that the attorney general is going to review it. i am telling them, if that review looks at those videos and finds that there were improper police conduct, there will be ramifications. that will not be a report that just sits on the shelf. this is a moment of reform. i will not judge it on just what i saw on the video. said, from what i saw in the video, i think it is inexplicable, but maybe there is an explanation. there are always two sides. the attorney general will speak with the police. let's hear what they have to say , and then we will make decisions. if there was improper behavior, there will be conference -- consequences period.
people deserve answers and accountability. as i said, one of the problems in minneapolis was, people saw the video of the george floyd killing and prosecutors got up and said, we have to look and we had additional evidence. we do not know what it is. there has not been answer on the other police officers there have not been answers on manslaughter versus murder. that just compounds the situation. i am not going to make decisions off the video. thederstand how difficult job is of the police. i agree that the videos are very disturbing. of a few months --, the police were alerted your administration announced a pilot program. if you give us an update on
the pilot program is in place? gov. cuomo: i do not know. i can get you an update. i do not know the situation with the body camera program. there are a lot of calls to put more focus on officers who might be watching violence happening. ofeos we are seeing personnel who are watching something wrong happening and not stopping it or following up. what more can be done to protect whistleblowers and fight against this boys club mentality? gov. cuomo: what i was trying to say in my opening remarks. what do you want done?
you just get a whole array of issues and vagaries. we know what needs to be done. we know what reforms we need. let's be specific. if there is an allegation of police abuse, the district attorney should not be investigating. why? because self policing does not work. the local prosecutor works with that police agency day in and day out. are they in a position to be fair and objective? they will say yes. i say, from a public confidence point of view, have the investigation done by somebody else. an outsidee done by agency that people know can be fair. that is why i am asking the attorney general to do the review of the police conduct because she is independently elected, a statewide official
and she can be honest and objective about the nypd. in this state, when there is a killing by a police officer of an unarmed person, the attorney general does the investigation and not the local district attorney. why? because there should be one definition. if a police officer abuses someone in new york city, it should be the same as if they abused someone in minneapolis or los angeles. is an abuse investigation against a police officer, release their prior disciplinary record, to see if there is a pattern. by the way, if you release the record says there has never been any prior conduct, that actually helps to attenuate or exonerate the police officer. if you release a disciplinary record and find out there has been a record, that is also
informative. these are changes that can be made and should be made now, today. light a candle. this is what we want done. be specific. say to your congresspeople, i want this law passed. say to your mayor, i want this law passed. i amey do not do it, say, going to vote you out. that is how this works. dayle win at the end of the , when they are focused and mobilized. they are focused and mobilized today. i would say now is the moment to say, i want equality in education. this is ludicrous and repugnant that you have some school districts that spend $36,000 on a child's education, and some
school districts that spend $13,000 on a child's education. how do you justify that the children of the rich get a much better education than the children of the poor? how is that fair? how is that fair at all? is hard, politically, to do that. --eight is hard, politically it is hard, politically, to do that. i understand that. that kind of reform can be done by political will. justify any child in america living in poverty? how can you do that? any child? is hard politically.
i understand that. i have been battling these things as governor. i would welcome an empowered citizenry that yes, we demand equality of education funding. i would welcome it. i proposed it every year. i can't get it. specific about the changes you want made. and focus that energy -- make it actually effectuate change. how does george floyd become thanrent than rodney king, all these cases -- 30 years, in my lifetime, 30 years of the same, basic situation and what changed? nothing. nothing. >> [indiscernible] >> governor --
gov. cuomo: go ahead. people we have been speaking to over the last two weeks till the government is situation,r their specifically people in poverty, with what is going on with the pandemic because a lot of people were forced out of work and now they are waiting for unemployment and it has been three months and they have not gotten any money. we have people calling our news station in tears, saying they cannot get through to the unemployment line and they are saying something specifically this state government can do to help them is to open in person unemployment lines and make sure these people get their money. what i am hearing from people is there is unrest -- these folks are desperate. they were already poor. now they were forced out of work. now our unemployment system is
backed up. they can't get through. they don't just blame police. they blame government as a whole. gov. cuomo: i understand. you are right. they do blame government as a whole and this is a very tough circumstance for everyone. look, it's not a wins against the unrest happens in the middle of the pandemic, right? -- it's not a coincidence the unrest happens in the middle of a pandemic, right? is tremendous stress on every -- there is tremendous stress on everyone. the isolation of people. of social interaction has caused a lot of mental health stress. i think that is true and that is a fact. the explosion we saw last night and we will probably see again tonight, i think it has many sources of energy coming into that. and what is the direct relationship between 90 days of close down and coronavirus and unemployment and fear and
isolation and then the george floyd killing as an accelerant to an already stressful more sophisticated minds than mine would have to figure out. it is all of that. yes, i understand. on the unemployment benefits, the state administers federal unemployment benefits. the federal government has many rules before people qualify for funding. we are not in a position to tell people to line up and i will give you a check. it's not that simple. the money is not given to anybody who asks. they have to meet certain criteria. the federal government has a whole list of criteria that have to be met before they can get the funding. most of the people who are still waiting for checks now have issues that have to be reviewed or investigated.
moment, but this lets her member the next moment. you will be sitting in the same andr three weeks from now you are going to have the same indignation in your voice when you say how did this state give out $100 million wrongfully in unemployment benefits, who defrauded the government and were actually living in wealth? how did you do that? you will have the same indignation -- >> [indiscernible] >> you said before some people were defrauding the unemployment system, people can't get through to get basic questions answered. they have made their full-time job join to get through to unemployment. they are at a point of can we don where,
lines with social distancing where i can get my question answered, where i can find out a timeline of when i am going to get my money? governor, people are literally calling our news station crying and saying their families are starving and they have to borrow from people? gov. cuomo: i understand. >> we will look into the option. good idea. we will look into the option. >> [indiscernible] do you have plans for the state police, for the national guard? do you think it is at that level where you have to do that? gov. cuomo: i think i have said we have had state police helping on all of the upstate -- you may have come in late. i said at the beginning, we had state police helping the upstate cities. the city of rochester out for 200 additional police for tonight and we have the national guard on standby. one more. >> those 200 state troopers
going to rochester, what is their role going to be? and at what point do you step in and take some sort of statewide action, curfew, deploying the national guard, something like that? gov. cuomo: i have the national guard on standby. any place that needs additional help, where the local police can stand it, we have the national guard and the state police. we have state police helping all of the upstate cities and that worked well enough. it is what it is. we have gotten them all of the resources they need for tonight. for 200r asked additional state police. we will do that. any other city that asks for additional state police, we can provide that. if we need more than the state police, then we have the national guard. but it's just making sure we have enough resources to address every situation and we take our clues from the local officials
and the previous behavior and the only city right now all this is they need help his rochester. -- is rochester. >> there are actually a few other cities we are talking for protections and accurate in buffalo we are deploying 150 troopers. we are working with syracuse and army. they are still working out what they think they need to harden their infrastructure. whatever they need, they will get. >> [indiscernible] some sort of statewide curfew? is there some point where you implement one statewide? gov. cuomo: curfews, there is no one size fits all here. curfews work well in some cities. in some cities they can cause additional issues. that is a case-by-case basis. look, where we are in new york, it was ugly last night.
management point of view, resource point of view, every locality did what they had to do. it's just an ugly situation and it's a difficult situation. the state police and the national guard we have more than enough resources to make sure every locality has what they need. i did not want to break the momentum of all these others because at a question that is a little bit off-topic -- gov. cuomo: [indiscernible] >> when do you think the time will be ready for the state workers to head back to their offices, the state workforce? i understand the regional is at the right time, and as you are reimagining new york, how does that relate to state contracts. workforcey the state has the contract today as you
are china to reimagine? -- trying to reimagine? gov. cuomo: do you want to talk about the state offices opening with the regional reopening? offices have been opening as we need more employees in certain areas for certain things. parks, for example. those employees have been operating. specifically in an office space, those are being ramped up with protocols. they will follow a similar protocol for fees to in offices. teleworking,ey are that is functioning. that's in place. feel more comfortable being at that person's desk, and they are not comfortable being a way of getting that person, i request being made for that person to go in? with -- >> what we are going to do is
make sure the workers come back when the offices are safe, when we set up these social distancing protocols, only have it so everyone can be safe with all of the protections. so not individuals. home or iny are at the office, they have to be safe. all the protocols are in place uniformly. working from home. right now is when we are doing that. it's been a long night. get some rest. hope we will have a better night tomorrow. >> governor stitt or ebola's of colorado, which again and
arkansas testified before a house subcommittee on how their states are responding area tuesday 11:30 a.m. eastern on c-span. c-span.org more on the free c-span radio app. daily unfiltered coverage of the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic with briefings from the white house, congress and governors from across the country plus join in the conversation on our live call-in program "washington journal." if you missed any of our live coverage, watch any time on-demand on c-span.org/coronavirus. washington, dc merrier -- mayor muriel bowser and the chief of police said they were prepared to allow peaceful protests against police violence while preventing others from destroying the city. mayor bowser also called on president trump not to incite