NCLEJ Joins Buffalo Community in Call for Police Accountability and Upholding the Repeal of 50-A
NCLEJ, in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit brought by the Buffalo, New York police and firefighter unions that seeks to reverse the repeal of Civil Rights Law § 50-a and block the city government from publishing officer misconduct and discipline information. Thirteen concerned Buffalo citizens and eleven civil rights organizations, including NCLEJ, signed on to the amicus brief to assert the importance of access to law enforcement disciplinary records, especially for communities of color subject to disproportionate abuse by police. Access to these records enables the public to hold individual police officers, departments, and policymakers accountable for police misconduct.
We wage this fight as our nation continues to reckon with the fact that police departments across the country have failed to take necessary steps to end police violence. The horrific shooting of Jacob Blake seven times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin and the killing of Daniel Prude by officers called to respond to his mental health crisis in Rochester, NY, are just two of the more recent examples of the systemic racism and brutality of law enforcement across the nation in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in May. Yet, even in the face of ongoing police violence, police unions across New York state have sued to continue the decades-long practice of shielding police disciplinary records from public view.
NCLEJ joins the Buffalo community in its demands for accountability for police misconduct. We cannot afford to wait another year for racial justice, let alone another day.
Oral argument on the motion to intervene and for amicus relief is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16 at 2 pm. Read our amicus brief opposing the unions’ efforts to sidestep the repeal of 50-a here:
There is also a link for public access to watch the hearing tomorrow at 2 PM.
Link for Media: