NYCLU v. NYPD (Seeking access to police shooting incident reports)

State Supreme Court, New York County, Index No. 115298/09 (direct)

This lawsuit challenges the NYPD’s refusal to disclose basic facts about individual police shootings.

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 12, 2009, seeks access to two types of reports the NYPD creates after police officers fire their weapons at civilians: an initial investigatory report filed 24 hours after the incident, and a more detailed report completed 90 days after the shooting. These reports are essential for the public to understand and assess the NYPD’s shooting practices.

In January, the NYCLU filed a Freedom of Information Law request for access to these reports on every police shooting since 1997. The NYPD denied the NYCLU’s FOIL request in its entirety, withholding as much as thousands of pages of basic facts about police shootings.

On Feb. 18, 2011, a State Supreme Court judge ordered the NYPD turn over to the New York Civil Liberties Union internal factual reports on all police shooting incidents since 1997. The city appealed that ruling, but it abandonned its appeal in August 2011.

NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn is lead counsel. Other lawyers on the case are Alyssa Bell, Mindy Friedman and Rachel Presa, students in the Civil Rights Clinic of the New York University School of Law.