FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Contact: Jason Kaplan, firstname.lastname@example.org
REPEAL 50-A: NEW YORKERS UNITED FOR JUSTICE ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR POLICE TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY
NYUJ: Repealing 50-A Means Equity In Police Oversight And A Fairer, Safer New York
Today, New Yorkers United for Justice (NYUJ), a coalition of leading local and national organizations, praised legislative leaders in Albany for reaching a deal (S8496/A10611) that will fully repeal 50-a, a law shielding police officers with long records of misconduct and public complaints. Police officers with long histories of misconduct or excessive force complaints have been associated with the deaths of innocent black and brown men like George Floyd, Eric Garner, and many others. Repeal of 50-a means New York State will no longer have one of the worst secrecy laws in the nation. Currently, New York State has weaker police transparency laws than more conservative states like Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
“Across New York State, the chants for police reform and accountability were heard loud and clear in the halls of the State Capitol today. With the full of repeal 50-a, police accountability takes a step closer to becoming a reality by allowing any and all misconduct engaged by a police officer to be accessible by the public. Although we are many steps away from have a truly just, fair, and safer criminal justice system, this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Today, our coalition is proud to stand with the countless community members, advocacy organizations (including the #SaferNYAct Coalition), and other stakeholders who led the charge for this bill to become a reality. While there is still so much to do, we are proud that New York, under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie, have taken action in response to the outpouring of outrage and grief across this country,” said Khalil A. Cumberbatch, NYUJ Chief Strategist, and a formerly incarcerated New Yorker.
This soon-to-be repealed law will be a major legislative victory and comes on the heels of a public push by NYUJ’s policy experts, criminal justice advocates like NAACP, NACDL, NYASDCL, Cut50, Hispanic Federation, to name a few, and formerly incarcerated individuals like Khalil A. Cumberbatch, NYUJ’s Chief Strategist, all making the case that transparency will lessen the risk of tragedies, such as the deaths of George Floyd, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, and Tamir Rice.