A law that has been on the books since the 1970s, which protects police and other officers disciplinary records from the media and public in New York State, is up for a vote.

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According to the New York Coalition For Open Government:

"Section 50-a of the state’s Civil Rights Law makes personnel records for law enforcement confidential. That includes internal affairs files, civilian complaints and disciplinary findings. Delaware is the only other state in the country that also has a law comparable to CRL 50-a, that restricts the scope of law enforcement information available to the public." ~ via a press release that was emailed to me

The previous disciplinary records of former Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with the murder of George Floyd, show a pattern of excessive force. Many supporters of the repeal of Section 50-a of the New York's Civil Rights Law say that being able to access officers records is essential to stopping police abuse of power.

"50-A prevents the public from accessing a police officer’s disciplinary records by essentially making all police personnel files confidential. This means that if a police officer is testifying in a case, there’s no way to know if they’ve lied in prior testimonies, or when the press is reporting on police violence, there’s no way to know if the officer has a pattern of misconduct.” ~ Caitlin Kawaguchi, Communications Director for the New Kings Democrats via Refinery29

You can find out who your representative is and how to contact members of the New York State Assembly here.  The Bill is co-sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger.

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