The music industry is lining up to sign an open letter to repeal New York’s draconian and pretty outlandish police secrecy stature, 50-A. The statute, one of the most stringent of its kind in the country, shields police officer personnel and disciplinary records from public view so there is no way for a victim to know if there is a long abusive history by the officer unless that officer is sued. Among those looking to repeal are a coalition of artists from around the US (and world) including The Aces, Anderson .Paak, A$AP Ferg, deadmau5, Nas, Dillon Francis, Gunna, James Blake, Odesza, YG, Meek Mill, Diplo and others. A slew of other music organizations have also signed.
“We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his. We must hold accountable those who violate the oath to protect and serve, and find justice for those who are victim to their violence,” reads the first part of the letter. “An indispensable step is having access to disciplinary records of law enforcement officers. New York statute 50-A blocks that full transparency, shielding a history of police misconduct from public scrutiny, making it harder to seek justice and bring about reform. It must be repealed immediately.”
Read the rest of the letter here.
The statute was originally created to protect police from vigilante citizens, but instead it has allowed cops to become repeat offenders without any accountability from the public. They instead become the vigilantes knowing there won’t be any consequences for their actions. It is well passed time to get rid of 50-A in New York and despite the very powerful police unions’ best efforts, it may happen this time. Walking past some cops at a protest on Sunday, some rank and file seem to be resigned to the fact that things may in fact be changing. One admitted that the writing is on the wall for their job.