STARTING NOW: Police unions are in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals continuing to fight NYC's planned release of police misconduct records. In June, Albany voted to repeal a longstanding ban on the release of these records, prompting this months-long court saga...
2/ The city got a favorable decision from the district court last month, which the unions chose to appeal. Let's see if this court tinkers with the parameters set in that preliminary decision. More context here from a colleague:…
3/ We have a missing judge... hence the awkward banter among the parties on the call.
4/ Anthony Coles of the police union coalition starts his arguments.
5/ "We are asking for a short extension of the stay" to allow a consideration of the issues in our appeal. Cites separate rights of his clients separate from 50-a rollback.
6/ Union: "Without a stay these documents will be mass produced on the internet..."Judge says this already happened, citing @NYCLU release. "The cat is not only out of the bag, it's running the streets." So what is the injury that would result? Judge asks.…
7/ Union attorney notes that there are many more records that have still to be released. It's not just records from the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Its also disciplinary charges and specs from the NYPD, raw complaint files from CCRB etc...
8/ Union attorney: "Essentially what you have is just a small piece from the CCRB plus no documents from the NYPD." Judge jokes, ok, "there are many more cats and many more bags."
9/ Another judge asks if 50-a repeal requires the release of these records. Union attorney says no. "They did not wash away all the other existing protections," citing collective bargaining agreements, privacy protections, due process rights, and safety protections.
10/ Judge questions him, "The collective bargaining rights seem rather limited." Judge asks where the privacy rights come from. Union argues that his officers' privacy rights stem from NY's Freedom of Information Law.
11/ Judges keep asking about what records have been released and keep getting confused because they think the NYCLU records are all the records in question. Seems like this should have been clear at this point after months of court arguments...
12/ Judge questions union attorney, accusing him of "baking in" certain protections from pre-existing state law. Judge: "The Freedom of Information Law was supposed to expand the public's access to documents."
13/ Re collective bargaining agreement, judge says they protect records from being included in officers' personnel files. "It's not explicit... that you may not release these documents."
14/ Judge: "I would think if it was removed from the officer's personnel file that would still be of significant benefit" re promotions, internal discipline etc. "That's different than saying that record shouldn't exist."
15/ Union "We're looking for this matter to be referred to arbitration." Another judge says union time is up.
16/ City attorney Drucker now starts. "The unions failed to show likelihood of success and irreparable harm."
17/ City: "The unions are failing to make any distinctions between the documents here." Notes that NYPD charges and specs are the next step following substantiated internal findings. Says the union has been misleading the court for months by conflating all these records.
18/ Judges are completely confused here... They respond by asking about CCRB records.
19/ Judge brings up unions' arbitrator demand with regard to CBAs. "Why can't an arbitrator consider that these docs are within the scope of this contractual understanding?"
20/ Judge: "Are you saying unfounded is different from unsubstantiated?"

City notes that NYPD charges and specs to be released all stem from substantiated internal NYPD findings, not unfounded or exonerated allegations (so union clause under debate doesn't apply)
21/ City attorney closes by attacking unions' privacy and due process arguments. City attorney is far more passionate than predecessors in previous cases.
22/ @changethenypd attorney now speaking, argues that govt lacks right to negotiate away the public's right to know (as guaranteed by Freedom of Information Law).
23/ Attorney says unions' arguments about public humiliation doesn't constitute irreparable harm. Judge says people would be able to look up + find unsubstantiated allegations, find their addresses, and harm their families at their homes and in schools.
24/ Attorney points out that many other jurisdictions allow these records to be released without resulting harms.

Judge: "I thought NY was an outlier."

Attorney: Yes, "in the level of secrecy."
25/ Attorney points to Chicago, says 23K police misconduct records are online and available to the public, has not resulted in a single harm pointed to by the unions.
26/ Judge: "We're only asked if there should be a stay... What is the urgency on your side that these records be released tomorrow, rather than what is likely in a couple of months?"
27/ Attorney responds by citing the legislature's will following the repeal of 50-a (which the judge now calls 51-a)
28/ Attorney cites 2 examples of why this is urgent. Brings up sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations against police officers. Says if victims know that others have come forward, they are more likely to speak up.
29/ Cites how police unions claimed that Daniel Pantaleo had a clean record, though he did have misconduct allegations before the death of Eric Garner.
30/ Union attorney speaks again, accuses amici attorney of saying there's no threats to officers. Judges step in, clarifying that unions' have showed no examples of harm that would result against police officers.
31/ "We're in a very turbulent time..." Says that the city wants to "throw gas on the fire."
32/ Union says if the judges fail to grant stay, most of these records would be released and the district court proceedings would be hollow exercise.
33/ Judge ends the arguments, says they will reserve decision.
34/ The end: decision about extending the stay will be posted on PACER at some undefined point.

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More from @georgejoseph94

1 Sep
NEW: In secret recordings, cops in Mount Vernon, NY describe assaults of civilians in cells + illegal strip searches. Residents gave us video of the accused cops conducting humiliating strip searches in an apartment—breaking police rules 👇[CW: graphic]…
2/ The accused officers worked for years in Mount Vernon’s narcotics unit + are still active. Some have been accused of sexual violence +brutality multiple times. Here’s a recording of a cop describing his colleague assaulting an elderly man in handcuffs. His sergeant denies this
3/ Here’s another officer alleging that he witnessed the same colleague assaulting a civilian in a cell at the police station. He claims when he reported the colleague for abuse, police supervisors refused to investigate + suggested he transfer units:
Read 17 tweets
24 Aug
BREAKING: New docs reveal 100s of internal NYPD findings of false statements, improper invoicing of cash/drugs + other misconduct. 1 cop, accused of drug planting on body-camera before, had 2 findings of improperly documenting drug seizures the same year:…
2/ These are different from civilian complaint records released by @propublica and @NYCLU. They describe internal NYPD investigations + came from @statenislandda due to work by @gideonoliver as part of a FOIL fight we've been leading for months…
3/ Officer Kyle Erickson, for example, faced light NYPD discipline twice for invoice discrepancies following two separate drug seizures. The same year he was seen twice on body-cameras appearing to plant marijuana on suspects @sydneyp1234…
Read 6 tweets
21 Aug
STARTING NOW: A judge is expected to decide on police unions' request for a preliminary injunction against NYC's plans to publish police misconduct records online. Yesterday civilian complaint data went public, but many more NYPD records are still secret:…
Judge Katherine Polk Failla begins reading her decision... promises its going to be long.
Judge Failla begins by going over this cases' months long history. I believe there's over a 100 people on this call.
Read 21 tweets
18 Aug
STARTING NOW in SDNY: Police unions are arguing that a preliminary injunction should be issued to further prevent city agencies from releasing thousands of police misconduct records online or via FOIL (yes this is the 2nd hearing related to this subject today):
This is the bigger case, not just about one body of records obtained by NYCLU from the CCRB. Note: this is being led by Judge Failla, who temporarily blocked the NYC’s planned release of 1000s of misconduct records, once shielded by 50-a (repealed by Albany earlier this year)
Read 61 tweets
28 Jul
NEW: 1000s of previously secret records show which NYPD officers have had misconduct findings over + over again. Most got little to no discipline. Many were promoted. Here’s our dive into those with the most separate incidents of substantiated misconduct:…
2/ And here’s our big picture look at the data. Where civilians filed complaints. Who was most likely to get complaints substantiated. And what discipline officers most often received for substantiated findings:…
3/ This data came from @propublica which obtained it from the CCRB via FOIL. For decades, these records have been secret. In less than 20 minutes, NYC police and other unions are scheduled to be in court fighting the release of further records. More here:…
Read 11 tweets
22 Jul
Happening now in SDNY, a hearing on “Uniformed Fire Officers Assoc. et al v. DeBlasio”: police + other public sector unions are fighting a NYC plan to publish 1000s of complaints about alleged police misconduct, which were previously shielded for decades by 50-a.
2/ Court official says “keep in mind, members of the media may be present.” As usual, no recording allowed, depriving the public of higher quality @WNYC content.
3/ SDNY Judge Failla asks the NYC Law Dept attorney what records have been disclosed thus far before the unions’ court action. Also asks what records the city wants to release post-50a repeal.
Read 32 tweets

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