- 09 Jun 20
The statute makes records of police misconduct private, and unavailable to the public eye.
Rihanna, Billie Eilish, and Ariana Grande have added their voices to the hundreds of music industry professionals who have co-signed an open letter to the New York state. The letter calls for the repeal of Statue 50-A, which allows for police misconduct records to be concealed from the public.
Last week, after protests raged across America in the wake of George Floyd, the Minneapolis police department decided to disband. The decision was supported by the majority of council members. Derek Chauvin is facing charges of second degree murder and manslaughter, while the other four police officers involved have been charged with aiding and abetting of both second degree murder and manslaughter.
The open letter – shared yesterday along with an online petition – reads:
“We must hold accountable those who violate the oath to protect and serve, and find justice for those who are victim to their violence. An indispensable step is having access to disciplinary records of law enforcement officers. New York statute 50-A blocks that full transparency, shielding a history of police misconduct from public scrutiny, making it harder to seek justice and bring about reform. It must be repealed immediately.
“It is not enough to chip away at 50-A; this boulder in the path of justice has stood in the way for far too long and must be crushed entirely. It is not just a misreading of the statute; it is not just an inappropriate broadening of its scope. It is the statute itself, serving to block relevant crucial information in the search for accountability. We were pleased to hear the Governor’s statement that 50-A should not prohibit the release of disciplinary records.
“But, clearly, it is not enough. 50-A has been used far too often in the past and, without repeal, it will continue to be used to block justice. When the Legislature returns this week, we urge members to recognize the moment, take one loud, bold, and meaningful step in addressing this systemic problem, and swiftly repeal 50-A.”
There have been solidarity protests against both police brutality and Direct Provision across Ireland, with two successful peaceful protests taking place over the past two weekends in Dublin.