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New ruling on police disclosure

With the city aggressively defending its power to keep documents on police misconduct secret (from the public, from City Council members, from civil rights lawyers), Jamie Kalven details a recent court ruling that undercuts the city’s arguments for withholding information — including the notion that officers’ privacy rights would be violated, or that investigations finding complaints “unfounded” are irrelevant.

And more dramatically, he reports, last month Federal District Court Judge Milton Shadur ruled that “the complaint files of a group of officers who served in the Special Operations Section — disbanded in 2008 in the midst of a metastasizing scandal involving charges of racketeering, kidnapping and attempted murder for hire — may be made public.”  Kalven gives the big picture and lays out the issues.

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Category: civil rights, criminal justice, police


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