Right to Know Act

The Right To Know Act is a legislative package that aims to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability in everyday interactions between the NYPD and the public.  New Yorkers want to live in a safe city where the police treat all residents with dignity and respect, and where police are not considered to be above the law.

Right to Know Is Now the Law. Here’s What That Means.

Police officers in New York City must provide more information to members of the public they interact with, and get consent for many searches.
The Right to Know Act was passed in 2017 in response to the uproar over the Police Department's use of stop-and-frisk.CreditCreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times
10/19/2018
New York Times

The New York Police Department ordered 10 million business cards that officers must hand out to people they stop on the street. The cards will include the officers’ names and ranks, and are required under the new Right to Know Act.

Police reform advocates pledge to be vigilant as Right to Know Act takes effect

NYPD officers in certain encounters must identify themselves and inform the public they can deny a search when there isn't probable cause.
Police reform advocates and City Council members rallied at City Hall to call on the NYPD to comply with the Right to Know Act, which will go into effect on Friday. Photo Credit: Kayla Simas/Kayla Simas
10/18/2018
AM New York

Public officials and police reform advocates pledged to hold the NYPD accountable for their encounters with the public as new legislation goes into effect Friday.

Holding signs and banners reading "I do not consent to this search," activists rallied on the steps of City Hall to celebrate the implementation of the Right to Know Act. The legislation has two components: a requirement for officers (in certain instances) to identify themselves when approaching the public, and a mandate to inform a person of their right to refuse to consent to a search when the officer doesn't have probable cause. 

CPR and NYC Council Members Call on NYPD to Comply with Right to Know Act

New York, NY — Today, members of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) and New York City Council Members gathered at City Hall to discuss the implementation of the Right to Know Act – a package of two police reform laws passed in December 2017 that go into effect tomorrow, October 19.

Speakers included New York City Council Members Antonio Reynoso, Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander, and Carlos Menchaca, along with police reform advocates and Iris Baez, the mother of Anthony Baez, who was killed by the NYPD in 1994. 

Archived video of the full press conference is available here.

Entra en vigor ley que obliga a policías identificarse al detener a alguien

Las nuevas leyes de Derecho a Saber, que se hacen efectivas este viernes, pretende proteger a ciudadanos durante encuentros con el NYPD, especialmente hispanos y negros
Concejal Antonio Reynoso durante una rueda de prensa en el City Hall, previo al inicio de la Ley de Derecho a Saber.
10/18/2018
El Diario NY

Ni el paso de los años, 24 para ser más precisos, han podido borrar el dolor que sintió Iris Baez el día que encontró muerto a su hijo Anthony. El joven fue sometido a una llave de estrangulamientopor el oficial del Departamento de Policía de Nueva York (NYPD) Francis Livoti el 22 de diciembre de 1994.

Police reform advocates fear de Blasio administration and NYPD are 'obstructing' law requiring consent to some searches

10/17/2018
New York Daily News

New laws requiring NYPD officers to identify themselves and receive consent before conducting some searches are set to go into effect Friday — and police reform advocates are worried the de Blasio administration is already trying to wriggle out of the rules.

Police Reform Is Coming to New York City, but Will the NYPD Follow the Law?

10/16/2018
ACLU Blog

In December 2017, the New York City Council passed two police reform measures, collectively known as the Right to Know Act, which aimed to improve communication and transparency during police stops and searches. On Friday, both bills will take full effect, and the New York Police Department will be tasked with implementing the council’s mandate to become more transparent and accountable. But there are good reasons to be skeptical that the NYPD will implement the law faithfully. 

De Blasio slammed for timing on controversial police reform bill

01/08/2018
New York Daily News

The mayor hastily added a hearing for a controversial police reform bill to his schedule Monday — at a time when many of the activists opposed to it were mourning Erica Garner.

Mayor de Blasio added the Right to Know Act to a slew of other, less contentious, bills getting hearings Monday — slipping the bills into an updated advisory he issued two hours before the event was to begin. Meanwhile, a funeral was being held for Garner, whose father Eric Garner was killed as a police officer used a chokehold while trying to arrest him on Staten Island in 2014.

De Blasio slammed for adding police reform bills to hearing last minute

01/08/2018
New York Post

Police-reform advocates on Monday slammed the de Blasio administration for waiting until the last minute before adding controversial police reform bills to a public hearing hosted by the mayor.

One measure in the Right to Know Act requires cops to get proof of consent from a person before searching them without a legal basis.

A second bill requires cops to ID themselves and provide business cards to suspects.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Mayor-Made Speaker, Sought a Member-Driven Legacy

12/30/2017
Gotham Gazette

Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina to preside over the 51-member New York City Council, leaves office having shepherded a progressive shift in the city’s direction, in conjunction with fellow Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, a philosophically aligned partner in government who was the deciding factor in her winning the powerful speaker position four years ago.

Police accountability bills fall short for some activists

12/21/2017
News12

Two bills on police accountability passed by the City Council this week, but some activists who originally pushed for them say they aren't satisfied.

Intro 541 of the Right to Know Act requires officers to clearly explain that searches are completely voluntary and only allows searches if consent is given. The second bill, Intro 182, requires officers to identify themselves, offer a business card and provide an explanation for police activity.

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