‘A Historic Moment’ for Victims of Police Brutality

Iris Baez, the mother of Anthony Baez. (Photo by Gregg McQueen via The Bronx Free Press)

Anthony Baez was playing football with his brothers when the ball hit a patrol car driving by. Following a confrontation, Officer Francis Livoti put Baez in a fatal chokehold. Nearly 14 years later, on Oct. 19, a legislative package called the Right to Know Act went into effect, which requires police to ask for permission before searching a civilian.

Baez’s mother Iris was at City Hall the day before to mark what she called “a historic moment that is the result of years of organizing,” reports Gregg McQueen in The Bronx Free Press.

Baez’s death galvanized the city around the issues of police brutality, specifically in communities of color.

Since the passing of her son and the subsequent trials, Baez has become an outspoken advocate of criminal justice reform and a vocal supporter of the Right to Know legislation.

Passed by the City Council last December, the package of police reform bills require police to ask for permission before searching a civilian, and also advise citizens of their right to refuse a search.

Also, officers are now required during many encounters to hand out business cards containing their name and rank. The cards contain details about how to file a complaint against an officer or obtain body camera video.

Iris Baez had a message for the mayor and the NYPD: “We are watching you.”

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