The music community has bonded together in wake of George Floyd‘s death to sign an open letter on June 8th demanding New York State to revoke statue 50-A. This law defends police officers’ personnel and disciplinary records from being viewed by the public.
R&B artist Rihanna, and many other artists, managers, record labels and executives, are demanding this statue be removed. Under this law, it shields misconduct that has taken place in the police force and has been hidden from the public. This is why many people are protesting for police reforms to take place in the United States.
“We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his,” The letter states. “We must hold accountable those who violate the oath to protect and serve, and find justice for those who are victim to their violence. An indispensable step is having access to disciplinary records of law enforcement officers. New York statute 50-A blocks that full transparency, shielding a history of police misconduct from public scrutiny, making it harder to seek justice and bring about reform. It must be repealed immediately.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will be the receiver of the letter. Recently Cuomo has discussed the reform of 50-A as part of his four-part reform package New York legislature will be voting on soon.
However, signees are not hoping for reform. Instead, they want to see a full repeal. Cuomo has stated he will sign whatever bill the legislature passes.
“We were pleased to hear the Governor’s statement that 50-A should not prohibit the release of disciplinary records,” the letter says. “But it is not enough. 50-A has been used far too often in the past and, without repeal, it will continue to be used to block justice. When the Legislature returns this week, we urge members to recognize the moment, take one loud, bold, and meaningful step in addressing this systemic problem, and swiftly repeal 50-A.”
Hopefully, this letter is a step in the right direction.