Article from Reason by C.J. Ciaramella.

New York lawmakers passed a bill today rolling back a notorious police secrecy law that has hidden misconduct records from the public for decades.

The New York Senate and Assembly both passed legislation repealing Section 50-a of New York’s civil rights statute, which makes law enforcement personnel records exempt from the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week that he would sign such a bill.

Civil rights activists and progressive state legislators have been trying to repeal the law for years, saying it shields officers with long histories of misconduct from accountability. Calls for repeal grew after the 2014 killing of Eric Garner by an NYPD officer whose secret misconduct records were later leaked to the media.

However, politically powerful police unions squashed those reform efforts every year, securing the support of Republicans and moderate Democrats, including Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. But in the wake of massive, multi-day protests over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the state’s Democrats moved swiftly.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Joi Ito (Flickr: NYPD Drills) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons