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News & Press Releases

Aug
27
2014
NYCLU Unveils ‘Wheel of Justice’ Game to Highlight NY’s Broken Public Defense System

At a press conference today in Washington Square Park, the New York Civil Liberties Union kicked off its Wheel of Justice NY campaign to highlight New York State’s broke public defense system. The campaign – complete with a travelling Wheel of Fortune-style game that can also be played online – calls on Governor Cuomo to end the state’s failure to provide effective attorneys to poor New Yorkers accused of crimes, and settle an NYCLU lawsuit on the matter going to trial this October. The trial will be the first of its kind in the nation.

Aug
20
2014
New NYCLU Reports Reveal Historic Failure and Bias of Bloomberg Administration’s Signature Public Safety Program

The New York Civil Liberties Union today released an analysis of new NYPD data that provides the first detailed picture of the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program throughout the totality of the Bloomberg administration, including new insights on the program’s stark racial disparities and its ineffectiveness in recovering illegal firearms. The NYCLU also released an analysis of 2013 stop-and-frisk data which shows the program last year had a gun recovery rate of only .02 percent and still overwhelmingly targeted young black and Latino men.

Aug
19
2014
NYCLU Urges Veto of Bill Protecting Rikers Guards Who Brutalize Inmates

The New York Civil Liberties Union today sent a letter urging Governor Cuomo to veto a bill drafted by the correction officers union that seeks to protect guards from prosecution for acts of brutality against inmates at Rikers Island facilities. The bill would give the Queens District Attorney exclusive jurisdiction in such cases.

Aug
18
2014
NYCLU Victory Secures Public’s Right to Know if Erie County has Cleaned Up its Jails

In a victory for open government, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled that Erie County must unseal reports on the conditions in its jails. The decision is a result of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s intervention in a case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. ““This is a victory for open government and an important step in securing healthy and humane conditions at the Erie County Holding Center, and throughout the county’s correctional system," said John A. Curr III, director of the NYCLU’s Western Regional Office.

Aug
14
2014
NYCLU Victory: Wedding Venues Cannot Discriminate Against Same-Sex Couples

The New York State Division of Human Rights has affirmed it is illegal for businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. The New York Civil Liberties Union victory came in the case of Melisa and Jennifer McCarthy, whose wedding was rejected by the owners of an Albany area farm and wedding venue when the owners found out that they were a same-sex couple. “No one should have the happiest time of their life marred by discrimination,” said Jennifer McCarthy. “We hope this decision will protect all New Yorkers from having to go through the hurt that we experienced.”

Aug
8
2014
NYCLU Objects to Manhattan DA’s Grab of Facebook Users’ Activity in Court Brief

In response to the Manhattan district attorney’s sweeping warrants forcing Facebook to turn over the contents of 381 Facebook accounts, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union today submitted a friend of the court brief in support of Facebook’s appeal challenging the constitutionality of these warrants.

Aug
5
2014
NYCLU Letter Urges Reforms in the Aftermath of Garner Death

In response to the death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD, the New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, Civilian Complaint Review Board Chair Richard Emery, and Inspector General Phil Eure. The letter outlines the immediate need to examine police practices and to reassess oversight of the NYPD, particularly around issues of Police Department enforcement of low-level offenses.

Jul
31
2014
NY Sheriffs Stop Unlawfully Jailing Immigrants Thanks to NYCLU Advocacy

Thanks to advocacy by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association has advised all sheriffs across the state to stop imprisoning people without a warrant just so federal agencies can investigate them for immigration purposes. In response to the Sheriffs’ Association guidance, at least 10 counties have stopped honoring federal government requests that they jail people who have been arrested after they would have otherwise been released.

Jul
30
2014
Decision Moves City One Step Closer to Stop-and-Frisk Reform

Exactly six months after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that New York City intended to drop its appeal in two class-action lawsuits challenging the NYPD’s unconstitutional and discriminatory stop-and-frisk regime, a federal court judge cleared the path for the parties to resolve these longstanding lawsuits and work together to develop remedies that will finally end stop-and-frisk abuses. The court also denied police unions’ requests that they join the cases which could have slowed the reform process.

Jul
23
2014
NYCLU, Civil Rights Orgs, Labor Unions Urge Cuomo to Veto Bill Immunizing Police Officers from Discipline

The New York Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights organizations and labor unions today sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to veto legislation that would all but eliminate the ability of local government officials across New York State to discipline police officers engaged in misconduct. The letter comes just days after a Staten Island man died after an NYPD officer put him in an illegal chokehold.

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