Tuesday, April 17, 2012


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NYCLU sues for access to legal opinions in NYPD misconduct trials

NEW YORK – The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in state court seeking access to the judicial opinions in NYPD trials of police misconduct allegations already substantiated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the independent oversight agency responsible for investigating complaints of police misconduct.

“Given the intense public debate over aggressive NYPD practices like stop-and-frisk, and the troubling recent reports of spying, ticket-fixing, and other abusive and unlawful police behavior, the public has every right to know how Commissioner Kelly is holding his officers accountable for substantiated misconduct,” NYCLU executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Unfortunately, the NYPD has once against demonstrated that it prefers secrecy and stonewalling to transparency and accountability.” 

Though the NYPD trials are open to the public, the Department refuses to disclose the written judicial opinions that decide the outcomes of those trials. The opinions show the NYPD’s legal and factual basis for its ruling concerning CCRB-substantiated misconduct complaints.  They include a summary of trial testimony, factual findings and legal conclusions supporting the determination of an officer’s guilt and the appropriate penalty. 

The NYCLU filed the lawsuit on April 13 in State Supreme Court of New York County.