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News & Press Releases

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
12
2016
NYCLU Posts Notice of Raza and Handschu Settlements

The New York Civil Liberties Union today posted notice of a proposed settlement in two class action lawsuits, Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division. Please see the notice below for information on the settlement: Notice of Fairness Hearing The following documents contain additional information about the settlements: Raza: Motion for Approval

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.

Jan
25
2016
Criminal Justice Reform Act is Important Step Toward Curbing Broken Windows Policing

The New York Civil Liberties Union is testifying today in front of the New York City Council urging lawmakers to pass the Criminal Justice Reform Act, a package of eight bills with the potential to prevent hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, especially people of color, from being shackled with criminal records for minor offenses.

Jan
21
2016
Now With Bipartisan Support, Statewide Public Defense Bill is NY’s 2016 Priority

In a joint press conference today with State Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy, State Senator and Deputy Majority leader John A. DeFrancisco announced his support of legislation that would reform public defense services across the state. This historic bill was first introduced by Assemblymember Fahy in 2014, after the New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State entered into a settlement agreement requiring the state to improve public defense for people too poor to hire an attorney in five counties named in the lawsuit.

Jan
20
2016
NYCLU: Assemblyman Dinowitz Commits to Introducing a Statewide Digital Privacy Bill

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced today that New York Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz will introduce the New York State Electronic Communication Privacy Act, a bill that will require police to get a warrant before seizing or accessing sensitive information from people’s phones, emails and text messages. The NYCLU’s announcement is one of 17 taking place simultaneously throughout the country, as a bipartisan collection of elected officials introduce digital privacy legislation in states including Illinois, Hawaii, Alabama and New Hampshire.

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