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News & Press Releases

Sep
21
2016
Lawsuit: Syracuse Jail is Harming Children with Abusive Solitary Confinement Conditions

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Services of Central New York filed a lawsuit in district court today against the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office for locking up children ages 16 and 17, many of whom are mentally ill, in near-complete isolation in solitary confinement for months at a time. The children are sexually harassed by adults, housed in disgusting conditions, denied education and, in some cases, pushed to contemplating suicide.

Aug
2
2016
NYCLU: After Bratton, NYC Needs New Era of Policing

In response to the resignation of NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton today, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director, Donna Lieberman:

Aug
1
2016
NYPD Use of Force against Assemblyman Shows Need to Reform Toxic, Biased Policing Culture

New York state assemblyman Michael Blake yesterday filed a formal complaint against the NYPD after an officer lifted him and slammed him against a gate when he tried to diffuse a street confrontation. The Bronx assemblyman filed his complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board, claiming excessive force by the NYPD, which he described as being related to his race. The incident occurred just as use of force by police against black people has become a pressing local and national issue.

Jun
17
2016
Historic Public Defense Reform Passes in New York

In the final hours of the 2016 legislative session lawmakers passed historic legislation that promises to fundamentally reform the state’s public defense system. Provided the governor signs the bill (S.8114/A.10706) into law, the state will take responsibility for funding public defense for the first time since the Supreme Court held, more than fifty years ago, that the state must provide a lawyer to criminal defendants who cannot afford to pay for a private attorney.

Jun
16
2016
NYCLU Applauds Senate for Passing Public Defense Bill, Urges Assembly to Pass Before End of Session

The New York State Senate today unanimously passed a statewide public defense bill that would fundamentally reform public defense services. The New York Civil Liberties Union is among groups that have advocated for passage of the bill. It now goes to the Assembly where it is expected to pass.

Jun
2
2016
NYCLU Applauds Assembly for Passing Historic Public Defense Reform Bill

The New York State Assembly today passed, with overwhelming support, the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act (A6202-C), a historic bill designed to fundamentally reform public defense services statewide. The New York Civil Liberties Union is one of the groups that has been advocating for passage of the bill.

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.

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