400 Mob Nassau Leg: Lafazan Booed, Cries
by Maureen Daly
A mob of 400 protesters - both opponents and supporters of an anti-civil rights bill filed by Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D-Syosset) - descended upon the Nassau Legislature Monday, for an eight-hour raucous meeting. Lafazan broke down in tears as speakers - including former elected officials - denounced him as a "hypocrite," a "fascist," a "cheap politician," and a "liar."
The bill would give the police the status of a "protected class" which would allow them to sue - and potentially arrest - anyone who "discriminates" or "annoys" them. Legal experts fear that the filing of a civilian police misconduct complaint; or suing for police misconduct; or the filming of a violent arrest - like happened when Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd in Minnesota - would now expose the victim or bystander to charges from the police.
The irony - and the reason for so much of the outrage - was that last summer, in 2020, Lafazan openly attacked the Nassau police for "systemic white racism," and denounced white Nassau County residents as being "infected" with "white supremacy." Lafazan also apologized for his own "white privilege."
Nassau County Legislature meetings are usually quiet affairs, but Monday’s forum turned into a heated eight hour battle between police unions and civil rights groups.
The protesters - many from the BLM movement with whom Lafazan had protested and demanded "de-fund the police" last summer - condemned Lafazan as a "phony,"a "grifter, "and a "hypocrite."
Former Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, now President of the NAACP Long Island chapter, played an audio recording of Lafazan , from last summer, where Lafazan calls white people "systemically racist" and "privileged."
Lafazan then hung his head and began to cry. "Don’t cry, don’t be a hypocrite, Joshua," shouted Edwards. "Stand up and do what’s right.”
The bill passed the legislature 12-6, with Lafazan voting in favor of it. County Executive Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) stated that she will seek advice from NYS Attorney General Letitia James, before either signing or vetoing the bill. On August 10th, Curran vetoed the bill, and it is now subject to an override by the Legislature.