[Police Misconduct Files]
Williams: “Unfortunately, for too long, disingenuous actors including the leadership of several law enforcement unions have sought to shield bad actors within the department from scrutiny or consequence.”
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams issued the following statement after the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a gag order which was preventing the publication of a database of Civilian Complaint Review Board complaint records obtained by the New York Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information request.
“This is what transparency looks like – and while it’s gratifying that this information is finally public, it’s disheartening that it takes a federal court order to mandate what should be common sense and standard practice. New Yorkers have a right to know about allegations and instances of misconduct by the officers that are meant to serve their communities, and to know whether there has been accountability for that misconduct. Transparency and accountability are not in opposition to better policing and safer streets, they are essential for both.
“Unfortunately, for too long, disingenuous actors including the leadership of several law enforcement unions have sought to shield bad actors within the department from scrutiny or consequence – and have too often had the backing of city and state elected leaders in that effort. That backing can be seen even now, as the city has recently argued in another case that the department has no obligation to discipline officers who commit offenses. Now, with 50-a finally repealed, these law enforcement unions continue to oppose that repeal in court – a baseless effort to prevent transparency that we can all see through. We’ve won the legislative fight, we’re winning the legal fights, and we will continue the long fight for justice in law enforcement through our voices and our votes.”