Defending New Yorkers' right to be free from discriminatory and abusive policing is a core component of the NYCLU's mission. Protecting this right requires that people have access to the information they need to hold abusive officers accountable. There are myriad flaws with the systems we currently have to address misconduct by New York Police Department officers. But for these systems to have any chance of operating effectively, investigators must – at a minimum – be able to identify the officers who are the subjects of complaints from the public. Police officers know this, and predictably there are constant complaints of officers covering their shield numbers and refusing to provide identifying information to New Yorkers.

The creation of a private right of action is an important step to provide New Yorkers with a direct means of enforcing their legal right to demand transparency from the NYPD. A private right of action is urgently needed to put an end to officers hiding behind anonymity to evade accountability.

Read the full testimony below.