Artists, managers, publishers, record labels, and hundreds of others have signed an open letter asking for the state of New York to repeal statute 50-A - a law that protects police officer disciplinary records from public view.
The letter has been released in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests. The nationwide protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department in May. It will be sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
According to Rolling Stone, the open letter reads, "We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his. 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 It must be repealed immediately."
The letter adds, "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 recognise the moment, take one loud, bold, and meaningful step in addressing this systemic problem, and swiftly repeal 50-A."