Taking Cover: How New York Police Departments Resist Transparency (2017)
Communities across New York have little access to information about how their police departments operate. Department decisions, rules, policies and the impact of policing tactics are too often hidden from view. Without transparency, New Yorkers cannot adequately hold their local police departments accountable.
To measure departments’ openness and better understand how New Yorkers interact with police, in 2015 the NYCLU sent requests to departments around the state for information about police policies and practices under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). We asked 23 departments for information about the use of force, stops and detentions, complaints about alleged misconduct, racial profiling and the use of surveillance technologies.
The NYCLU Police Report Card series will index and publish all records received from police departments (hundreds of thousands of pages so far), and offer analyses. This introductory installment reviews department responsiveness and transparency.