, 5 tweets, 2 min read
READ THIS: So-called “progressive” NY is 1 of 2 states w/ a law that entirely blocks the public, defense attorneys, defendants, press, & prosecutors from seeing disciplinary histories of police officers. The law is called “Civil Rights Law 50-a.” Join us in calling to #Repeal50a.
In practice: Only way to get cop records is “Gissendanner” motion (named after a case). Step 1: Defendant must show likelihood that records will yield “material & relevant” info. If so, judge reviews records in private. Step 2: Judge determines what’s actually material/relevant.
Major issues: Defense flying in dark. We have to put forward as much misconduct as we know to carry our burden just to get judge to review. And even then, can take months bc judge has to review all records, which can be tens of thousands pages and disciplinary hearing recordings.
Case in point: I “won” a Gissendanner motion in January 2017. Took the judge 10 months to review all the records. I did not get anything until October. Judge was extremely efficient. 16k pages. I wound up getting 26. Client was incarcerated the entire time waiting. Trial on hold.
In the end, I was never able to utilize the disclosed documents because the man I was representing plead guilty. All the extra time spent incarcerated wore him down. He was innocent, and it was a case of police officers lying to cover up excessive use of force. Need to #Repeal50a
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