In the wake of George Floyd’s death, protests against police brutality and systemic racism finally motivated New York’s elected leaders to take action. But is it the right action, and is it enough? Here is a preliminary view from one civil rights lawyer:

Sunshine on Police Disciplinary Records

The legislature finally repealed Section 50-a of the New York Civil Rights Law. For decades, Section 50-a shielded the release of “[a]ll personnel records used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion, under the control of any police agency or department of the state or any political subdivision thereof,” unless “mandated by lawful court order.” Even then, a court needed “a clear showing of facts sufficient to warrant the judge” to “request records for review,” followed by a mandatory hearing, and then the records could not be produced absent a “determination [that] the records are relevant and material in the action.”

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