Under growing pressure from demonstrators outraged over the police killings of African-Americans, officials across the country announced major police reforms on Monday, further galvanizing a protest movement that has led to a nationwide reckoning over systemic racism.
The New York police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, announced he was disbanding the Police Department’s anti-crime unit, a team of hundreds of plainclothes officers that targeted violent crime and that was involved in some of the city’s most notorious police shootings.
The attorney general of California, Xavier Becerra, unveiled a series of recommended measures for police forces in the state, including banning chokeholds, requiring officers to intervene when colleagues use excessive force, and forbidding officers from firing shots at moving vehicles or from them, with rare exceptions.
In Albuquerque, political leaders said the city would take money from the budget of its scandal-plagued police force to create a new community safety department that would likely respond to calls related to homelessness, addiction and mental health.
And days after a black man was killed by a white Atlanta police officer, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued a series of executive orders aimed at overhauling how the Police Department uses force.
“It is clear we do not have another day, another minute, another hour,” Ms. Bottoms said of the orders, which came on the heels of the resignation of the city’s white police chief and the termination of the officer who fatally shot the man, Rayshard Brooks.
The announcements, some of which were unexpected or remarkable in their swiftness, followed weeks of protests and public unrest over police brutality after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
Nationwide efforts to tighten the rules governing when and how police officers should use deadly force gained some momentum after the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. But it is in recent weeks that significant policy changes have been adopted by state and city governments, while some protesters outraged by Mr. Floyd’s death continue to call for police departments to be defunded or abolished.
In New York, where the mayor and police officials have been under pressure from protesters to reduce the size of the Police Department, around 600 officers who served on teams that targeted violent crime and illegal guns will be immediately reassigned, Commissioner Shea said at a news conference.
“This is a seismic shift in the culture of how the N.Y.P.D. polices this great city,” he said.
A decision about criminal charges for Rayshard Brooks’s death may come shortly.
The district attorney in Fulton County, Ga., has said he will make a decision by midweek on whether to file criminal charges in the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, 27, outside a Wendy’s restaurant on Friday night, the latest killing to stir outrage over a long history of deadly violence by the police against African-Americans.
The encounter outside the restaurant was captured on eyewitness videos, police body-camera footage and security camera footage. On Sunday, a spokesman for the Police Department said the officer who shot Mr. Brooks had been fired.
The police were called to the scene on Friday night because Mr. Brooks had fallen asleep in his car while in the restaurant’s drive-through line. Mr. Brooks was awakened and given a sobriety test, which he failed.
After two police officers had been on the scene for 27 minutes, much of that time talking with Mr. Brooks, one of the officers, Garrett Rolfe, attempted to handcuff him, leading to a struggle. The officers tried to stun Mr. Brooks with Tasers, and Mr. Brooks grabbed one of their Tasers and ran away, with Officer Rolfe in pursuit. Mr. Brooks turned at one point to fire the Taser back in Officer Rolfe’s direction; Officer Rolfe then pulled out his handgun and fired at Mr. Brooks three times as he was running away.