In the Media

Chokeholds and Police Abuse, Kept From the Public

There’s still time for New York legislators to repeal the law that keeps police records secret.
Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother, outside One Police Plaza last week.CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times
06/12/2019
New York Times

An administrative judge will decide soon whether New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo should be fired for using a prohibited chokehold that led to the death of Eric Garner and waves of protestover police brutality five years ago.

Whatever her decision, the public may never know about it.

Advocates, Pols Demand Cops Follow Right to Know Act

Law requires NYPD officers to ID themselves and explain right to refuse a search
04/30/2019
Gay City News

Advocates and elected officials who say police officers are disobeying and at times even mocking a police accountability measure implemented last year rallied at City Hall April 29 to demand action minutes before lawmakers grilled NYPD officials about that law during an oversight hearing.

Advocates and lawmakers rally to repeal law that lets cops hide misbehavior

A woman holds signs in front of police officers as she joins a rally at City Hall Park in downtown Manhattan on Aug. 1, 2016. (Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)
04/09/2019
New York Daily News

ALBANY — A push to repeal a law shielding police officers from public scrutiny is gaining traction in the state capital.

A group of lawmakers and activists, including the mother of Sean Bell, rallied Tuesday for the full repeal of section 50-a of the state’s civil rights law, which prevents the release of disciplinary records of uniformed officers throughout the state.

No way 50-A! Activists call for repeal of law that hides police misbehavior

State Senator Jessica Ramos joined other elected officials and advocates at City Hall March 21 to call for the repeal of the state’s 50-a law, which shields police records from scrutiny. (Trevor Boyer/New York Daily News)
03/21/2019
New York Daily News

A group of lawmakers and activists on Thursday called for the end of a law that blocks public scrutiny of NYPD misdeeds.

Democratic state legislators and city council members joined activists from Make the Road New York and Moms Rising at City Hall to rally for the repeal of the state’s 50-a law, which prevents the release of disciplinary records of uniformed officers throughout the state.

Piden a la Legislatura pasar la ‘Safer NY Act’ para regular la actividad policial

Activistas y funcionarios electos protestaron para exigir que se revoque la medida 50-a
En la protesta participo una coalición de noventa organizaciones que impulsa la aprobación de esta ley.
03/21/2019
El Diario NY

Reclamando una reforma completa del sistema de justicia criminal, y una mayor transparencia y responsabilidad de las fuerzas policiales, un grupo de activistas y funcionarios electos, entre los que se encontraba el defensor del pueblo Jumaane Willians, se unieron este jueves en las escalinatas de la Alcaldía para pedir a la Legislatura estatal y al gobernador Andrew Cuomo pasar la ‘Safer NY

Advocates Push for Repeal of Law that Keeps Police Misconduct Secret

03/21/2019
WNYC

(Click here to listen to radio segment.)

A group of New York legislators are hoping the political mood is right to pass a set of bills meant to increase police transparency and oversight. And they view a root cause of problems with police accountability, and therefore with public trust in law enforcement, as a section of New York Civil Rights Law called 50-a. 

Charter Revision Commission Hears Expert Testimony on Police Accountability

03/11/2019
Gotham Gazette

The 2019 Charter Revision Commission met on Thursday evening to discuss police accountability reforms before an impassioned crowd filled with activists. Local advocates along with some politicians have long called for increased transparency and accountability in policing, particularly in recent years following the 2014 death of Eric Garner at the hands of NYPD officers on Staten Island and the slow, somewhat secretive process by which any accountability has been handled for that incident and others like it over the years.

EXCLUSIVE: Reform groups say they'll lobby hard in Albany to repeal law that keeps police discipline records secret

A coalition of groups are calling for police reform and a repeal 50-a. (Susan Watts / New York Daily News)
02/11/2019
New York Daily News

A coalition of 88 police reform groups are making a hard push to scrap a decades-old state law that keeps officer discipline records secret.

The groups — many of them working under the banner of Communities United for Police Reform — will send a letter Tuesday to the state legislature calling for a series of police reforms, including the repeal of 50-a — a 1976 statute that limits public access to police and firefighters' disciplinary records.

New York Police Killed Her Son, Then Refused to Answer Her Questions. The Law They’re Hiding Behind Could Soon Be Repealed.

An obscure provision designed to protect personnel records makes it nearly impossible to hold the state’s cops accountable.
02/08/2019
Reason

In 2017, Constance Malcolm sat across from Kevin Richardson, the NYPD lawyer in charge of prosecuting police discipline cases. Richardson said he couldn't tell her the pending charges that were about to be presented in an open and public disciplinary trial against the police officer who killed her son.

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