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Statement from Juan Cartagena on NY Governor Andrew Cuomo Signing of Police Accountability Bills




June 12th, 2020 – New York, NY

Contact: Elianne Ramos; Chief Communications Officer; [email protected]; 212.739.7513

New York, NY – In light of the recent police violence in New York, on June 8th, 2020, LatinoJustice PRLDEF submitted a letter in support of Senator Bailey and Assemblyman O’Donnell’s bill to fully repeal Civil Rights Law § 50-a (CRL 50-a), a statute that had stymied public disclosure of records relating to police misconduct since 1976. On Friday, June 12th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law part of the package of police accountability bills that state legislators approved earlier this week. The following is a statement from Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, on the news.

“If the life of George Floyd had been taken in New York, 50-a would obscure the horrifying history of excessive force of the officer who killed him.”

This is from the letter of LatinoJustice issued in support of the repeal of 50-a. Please let that sink-in for a minute. The worse applications of this law shield the public from learning about police repeat-offenders and from the lack of accountability that the police leadership enjoys when it looks the other way and hides behind the blue wall of silence.

Today, we thank the New York State Assembly, Senate and the Governor for eliminating this shield to transparency and accountability.

Today we embark on a new day of forcing our government to account.

Today we embrace the legacy of the lives of Eric Garner, Anthony Baez and so many other lost lives in New York; because of them we can begin transformation.