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News & Press Releases

May
26
2016
Complaint: NYPD Unlawfully Orders Homeless People to Leave Public Spaces

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint today on behalf of Picture the Homeless urging the New York City Commission on Human Rights to investigate the NYPD’s practice of forcing homeless people in Harlem to “move along” when they have not violated any laws but are simply present on streets, sidewalks and in other public spaces. The NYCLU argues that the NYPD’s actions violate the Community Safety Act, which prohibits “bias-based profiling,” including targeting people based on their housing status. Today’s action is the first major actions brought under the Community Safety Act.

May
11
2016
NYCLU Sues Ramapo Police Department for Refusing to Disclose Critical Policies

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Ramapo Police Department today after it refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking basic information about how the controversial department operates. The NYCLU sought policies and data on a variety of policing tactics, such as the use of force, stops and temporary detentions, surveillance technologies and the enforcement of non-criminal offenses.

May
10
2016
Lawsuit Challenges Shameful Exclusion of Farmworkers from Right to Organize

Farmworkers are excluded from the critical protection of the right to organize without fear of retaliation under New York state’s labor law, a violation of the state constitution that forces them to work in life-threatening, sweatshop-like conditions, according to a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union against New York state and Governor Cuomo today in the State Supreme Court. It is the first lawsuit that demands that farmworkers receive the same basic protections from the state that virtually every other worker receives.

Apr
29
2016
NYCLU Posts Notice of Raza and Handschu Settlements

UPDATE: U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. has extended the comment period on the proposed Settlement Agreement amending the Modified Handschu Guidelines to 11:59 P.M. on May 26, 2016. He has also added a final in-court hearing date on June 1, 2016. All class members who wish to comment in support or opposition to the proposed Settlement may register to present comments in person on June 1, or may submit written comments without appearing, but must do so by 11:59 P.M. on May 26, 2016.

Mar
31
2016
Federal Judge Approves Solitary Confinement Overhaul in New York State

Federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin today approved a settlement agreement between the New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State that will comprehensively overhaul solitary confinement in New York State -- one of the largest prison systems in the country -- and provide a framework for ending the state’s overreliance on extreme isolation.

Mar
15
2016
NYCLU Sues Buffalo Police Department for Refusing to Open its Books

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Buffalo Police Department last evening after it refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking basic information about how one of the largest police departments in the state functions. The NYCLU sought policies and data on a variety of policing tactics, such as the use of force, stops and temporary detentions, surveillance technologies and the enforcement of non-criminal offenses.

Mar
9
2016
No Charges in Unarmed Teen’s Death Shows Need for Police Accountability

The Justice Department announced yesterday that it would not convene a grand jury in the death of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed teenager who was shot and killed by an NYPD officer in his Bronx home while his grandmother was present four years ago. The Justice Department began its investigation after a Bronx grand jury failed to indict the officer involved in Ramarley Graham’s death. An earlier grand jury had indicted the officer on manslaughter charges, but a judge dismissed the case on a legal technicality. The officer remains employed by the NYPD.

Feb
11
2016
NYPD Has Used Stingrays More Than 1,000 Times Since 2008

The NYPD has confirmed that it owns and operates Stingrays—controversial surveillance devices that spy on cell phones nearby and that can be used to track location—the New York Civil Liberties Union announced today. In response to an NYCLU FOIL request, the NYPD disclosed it used Stingrays nearly 1,016 times between 2008 and May of 2015 without a written policy and following a practice of obtaining only lower-level court orders rather than warrants. This is the first time the extent of the use of Stingrays by the NYPD has been made public.

Feb
11
2016
Speaker Proposes Major Reforms to Rikers in State of City Address

In response to New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s State of the City address, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

Feb
4
2016
NYCLU Praises Budget for Funding Public Defense in Five Counties, Calls for Statewide Reform

The New York Civil Liberties Union, testifying at a Joint Legislative Hearing on Governor Cuomo’s 2016-17 Public Protection Budget, will commend the governor for allocating funds for public defense reform. The funding will be provided to five counties in accordance with the terms of a settlement in Hurrell-Harring v. State of New York, brought by the NYCLU and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

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