An open letter to State Legislatures

Repeal 50-a

7 so far! Let’s get to 10 signers!

85 organizations with Communities United for Police Reform signed onto this letter urging you to reconvene the legislature, and pass Senator Bailey & Assemblyman O’Donnell’s bill (S3695-Bailey/A2513-O'Donnell) to fully repeal 50-a. Standing with these organizations, we urge you to stand firmly in opposition to any attempts to water-down or offer partial measures that will continue to provide special rights for police officers and allow departments to shield abusive officers and brutality from public view. We write to you at an unprecedented time. As you know, against the backdrop of a pandemic disproportionately killing and economically devastating Black, Latinx, and other communities of color, our communities are also facing escalating police violence in different parts of the state. This weekend, we witnessed and some of us (including members of your respective conferences) were subjected to police violence while gathering to mourn and protest the police killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and other Black people across the country. The blatant police violence experienced by New Yorkers is unacceptable. The continued police secrecy in New York enables that police violence and allows abusive officers to continue to act with impunity. We should be able to look up the misconduct and disciplinary records of every officer who mass-pepper sprayed, assaulted, blatantly covered their badge numbers, and engaged in other abuse of authority and violence against New Yorkers. Instead, we are left in the dark and abusive police officers are given special rights and shielded because of 50-a. The time to pass a full repeal of 50-a is now. We cannot afford to entertain proposals to amend 50a that will give a false sense of progress while loopholes continue to entrench police secrecy. New York is ranked among the worst states in the nation with respect to police transparency. New Yorkers have taken to the streets - risking their health during a pandemic - to express to their leaders in government that we can wait no longer for police accountability. Anything short of a full repeal of 50-a is simply not what we need at this moment. We urge you to immediately pass S3695-Bailey/A2513-O'Donnell to fully repeal 50-a, without amendments or modifications. Thank you.

First sent on June 6, 2020 by ian

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