Statement on NYS Court of Appeals 50-a Ruling

Photo: Paul Buckowski, Albany Times Union

The Legal Aid Society released the following statement below responding to a New York State Court of Appeals Ruling - New York Civil Liberties Union v. the New York City Police Department - concerning 50-a and the disclosure of redacted administrative decisions with regard to police discipline:

“The Court of Appeals decision cements a dangerous precedent in a democracy that relies on access of information in order to hold public officials accountable. This decision fails to follow the principles of open government and the deference courts have traditionally given to open records laws. By emphasizing 50-a’s privacy protections over open government principles, the court’s decision today will amplify harm to people abused by police, leave Black and Latinx communities vulnerable with even less recourse to hold police accountable, will support impunity by officers who will abuse the reliability of their anonymity, and will cause continued disruption in the justice system. We will push hard on Albany to repeal 50-a and to return New York to a system of open governance.”