The New York Civil Liberties Union, with pro bono counsel from Milbank LLP, filed a lawsuit against the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) for unlawfully denying the NYCLU’s requests for the full slate of records related to police misconduct authorized to be disclosed following the repeal of 50-a.
The NYCLU submitted a FOIL request seeking public records specifically authorized to be disclosed under state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) after the repeal of 50-a, a statute of the state civil rights code that had been used for years to bar the disclosure of police misconduct. Specifically, that request sought records of both police misconduct complaints that did result in officer discipline and complaints that did not, since January 1, 2000. The NCPD has denied requests for all records of police misconduct complaints created prior to June 2020—when 50-a was repealed—and all records of complaints that did not ultimately result in discipline from after that date. In other words, Nassau continues to shield the vast majority of police misconduct complaint records from disclosure.
The proceeding is part of a statewide police transparency campaign in which the NYCLU and pro bono counsel filed state FOIL requests with twelve police departments statewide and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.