From 1976 until this past June, 50-a was in place to prevent the public release of personnel records used to evaluate police officers and firefighters. Prior to the repeal, those records could only be revealed through a court order, or through the firefighter or police officer’s consent.
Buffalo police Benevolent Association President John Evans responded to Sedita’s ruling with this statement:
“The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association is obviously disappointed by today’s ruling regarding the release of disciplinary records.
Even if an officer is exonerated or the complaint was not sustained, it creates a public perception that the Buffalo Police are not serving and protecting the community in a professional manner, which could not be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, this is another misconception that the police now have to face as a result of public policy decisions being made on emotion rather than based on facts.
As a community we should be having a constructive dialogue about the future of policing in the City of Buffalo and be less concerned about a list of unsubstantiated complaints that occurred in the past.”John Evans
The assistant director of UB Law School’s Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic, Michael Higgins is pleased that after more than two months, State Supreme Court Justice Frank Sedita has decided that it is within the law of New York State to release the disciplinary records of police officers, even the complaints that are unsubstantiated or still pending.
“It’s in the interest of the police to actually have these records released. They want to show where they’re exonerated for example from a complaint. The public is capable of telling the difference between an unsubstantiated complaint, a substantiated complaint, or an exoneration,” Higgins said.
- Boeing makes deeper job cuts as aircraft business slows
- Good Samaritan saves kitten frozen to truck tire in Colorado
- 6-year-old boy’s ‘YouCanBeABCs’ rap video inspires kids to dream big
- Women’s Health: Local breast cancer survivor shares her brave story
- Recent Listeria infection outbreak traced back to deli meat, CDC says