Mar 14

2022

A step backwards on police accountability

Bill awaiting Gov. Kathy Hochul's signature would thwart release of body-cam video.

Last summer, the state Legislature peeled away exemptions to the state’s Freedom of Information Law that made it difficult for the public to obtain video recorded on officers’ body cameras and related evidence.

Awaiting Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature now — during “Sunshine Week” — is a bill making “technical corrections” to that measure

In fact, transparency advocates say, the bill on Hochul’s desk will eviscerate it. 

“This is a disaster for holding police accountable and for New York State’s Freedom of Information Law,” lawyer-journalist James S. Henry of Sag Harbor, one of the backers of the 2021 police accountability law, told DCReport last week. 

DCReport Editor David Cay Johnston — a Pulitzer Prize winner and former board president for Investigative Post — is the first to report on the bill, which passed the Senate with little attention or objection.

“This was passed while we slept,” Henry told DCReport.

Read the full report here.