Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Meek Mill, the Jonas Brothers and many more signed an open letter on Monday, asking New York legislators to repeal section 50-a of New York State’s Civil Rights Law.
The statute currently keeps police personnel files confidential and basically out of the public’s reach.
“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,” the open letter reads in part.
“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 It must be repealed immediately.”
The letter is directed at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The petition and open letter comes in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis after former police officer Derek Chauvin
pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
The letter goes on to state, “It is not enough to chip away at 50-A; this boulder in the path of justice has stood in the way for far too long and must be crushed entirely.
New York’s Legislature is poised to take action on a police reform package that includes repealing section 50-a.
On Tuesday Cuomo said there is a need for real discussion to have about how to “reinvent and reimagine policing for a new generation and a new society.” He noted the discussion is a “long time coming and long overdue.”