Corey Stoughton, Attorney-in-Charge of the Special Litigation Unit with the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society, issued the following statement in response to a decision rendered by United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Uniformed Fire Officers Association, et al. v. Bill de Blasio denying the police unions’ effort to restrict the New York Civil Liberties Union from publishing CCRB records obtained by FOIL request:
“With this data now public, New Yorkers will be better able to hold NYPD officers who commit acts of misconduct and betray the public’s trust accountable. Moreover, our attorneys will be able to use this information to expose police improprieties to better defend clients in court. This data will also pave the way for more needed reforms to overhaul a Department that is actually responsive to the needs of communities.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the culture of impunity enjoyed for decades at precincts around New York City – at the expense of our clients, largely Black and Latinx New Yorkers – is slowly beginning to change.”
Legal Aid filed two amicus briefs in opposition in Uniformed Fire Officers Association, et al. v. Bill de Blasio against union efforts to deny New Yorkers access to critical law enforcement officer disciplinary records. The first amicus brief was filed in opposition to a preliminary injunction before Judge Failla, and the second amicus brief was filed in opposition to the police union’s efforts to restrain NYCLU from publishing. On June 12, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted legislation that fully repealed Police Secrecy Law 50-a. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP partnered with Legal Aid in drafting and filing the two amicus briefs.
About The Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society exists for one simple yet powerful reason: to ensure that New Yorkers are not denied their right to equal justice because of poverty. For over 140 years, we have protected, defended, and advocated for those who have struggled in silence for far too long. Every day, in every borough, The Legal Aid Society changes the lives of our clients and helps improve our communities.
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