Over 750 people, companies and organizations in and around the music industry — including Anderson .Paak, singer and fashion mogul Rihanna, rapper and prison reform advocate Meek Mill, tech billionaire Elon Musk, “super-manager” Irving Azoff and all three of the major labels and their myriad sub-labels — have signed a petition to repeal Section 50-a of New York state’s Civil Rights Law. The coalition claims the statute has been used to shield police officers from accountability.
Since 1976, the statute has prevented the personnel records of any police officer, corrections officer or firefighter from being made public. The law was intensely criticized following the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of then-NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose disciplinary history was prevented from being released by the 50-A statute.
UPDATE 6/10/2020: The New York State Senate has passed S8496/A10611. This bill would repeal Section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law, a statute that deals with the way law enforcement disciplinary records are handled statewide.
Next, the repeal advances to the Assembly, which it must pass before ultimately heading to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.
The bill modifies the Public Officers Law so that disciplinary records of police, fire, and corrections officers are accountable, subject to transparent public disclosure via Freedom of Information requests.