NY Judge Blocks Police Union’s Lawsuit, Allowing Full Transparency Of Police Disciplinary Records

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A federal judge in New York dismissed a police union’s lawsuit Friday, letting stand a law that will allow civilian complaints against police officers to be made public.

The lawsuit, which was filed by the Police Benevolent Association and other public safety unions, claimed that officers would be put in danger if the records were made public, the Associated Press reported. Police unions primarily expressed concern about releasing complaints that had been dismissed as unfounded.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla said that the unions showed “no empirical evidence” that the release of the records would cause harm to officers, Courthouse News writer Adam Klasfeld reported. (RELATED: Debate Rages On Police Reform, Role Of Police Unions In Wake Of Floyd’s Death)

The ruling lifts a restraining order that had previously blocked the repeal of 50-A, a law that shielded police disciplinary records from the public. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio had told the public that he would repeal 50-A, a promise that he’s now upholding.

The restraining order will remain in place until 2 PM Monday to allow the unions to appeal the decision, Failla said according to the Associated Press.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, a watchdog group, said they plan to post complaint histories on their website once the restraining order is officially lifted.

Failla’s decision comes as activists call for police reform in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Protests, some of which turned violent, spread nationwide following Floyd’s death, with some activists calling for the police to be completely defunded.