New York City Police Can Keep Disciplinary Records Secret, Court Rules
By Liz Robbins
The latest legal effort by civil rights advocates to force the New York Police Department to make disciplinary records of police officers public failed on Tuesday in the state’s highest court.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the State Civil Rights Law, as it stands now, still allows the department to withhold certain records of misconduct to protect individual officers involved.
The legal battle over making the disciplinary records public has been raging for years, even before the death of Eric Garner in police custody in 2014 made the issue of transparency more urgent. At the time, the police said an obscure section of the civil rights law, known as 50-a, made it impossible to release the disciplinary history of the officer charged with using a chokehold on Mr. Garner.