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News & Press Releases

Sep
18
2014
Top Court Hears Challenge to Queens DA's Unlawful Interrogation Practices

The New York Court of Appeals heard arguments today in three cases challenging a Queens District Attorney’s office’s program of diverting people accused of crimes into an interrogation room before they are arraigned or have seen an attorney. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed in January, the New York Civil Liberties Union contends that the program, which overwhelmingly affects low-income people of color, unconstitutionally denies the right to counsel and the right to a prompt court appearance after arrest.

Sep
17
2014
NYCLU Report Exposes NY’s Failure to Provide Public Defense to Poor in Violation of Constitution

The New York Civil Liberties Union today released a report revealing grim new data regarding New York State’s abject failure to provide public defense services to poor people accused of crimes, a violation of the U.S. Constitution, state constitution and the laws of New York. The new report also features testimonials from New Yorkers across the state whose families, homes and livelihoods were devastated by the broken public defense system.

Sep
8
2014
City Council Must Require NYPD to Disclose its Use of Force Training

The New York Civil Liberties Union today submitted testimony to the New York City Council Public Safety Committee demanding increased oversight and transparency regarding the NYPD’s use of force, officer training, and violations enforcement.

Sep
4
2014
NYPD Body Cameras Should be a Win-Win

In response to an expected announcement later today that the NYPD will soon begin a pilot program where officers wear body cameras, the leadership of the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement, attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

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.

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