On Monday, hundreds of artists, managers, publishers, trade groups, executives, record labels and more came together to sign an open letter calling for New York state to repeal statute 50-A, the state law that shields police officers’ personnel and disciplinary records from public view.
The piece of legislation that has been in place for decades, has long allowed misconduct and disciplinary records of police officers to remain hidden. With recent events sparking an immediate call for change, dismantling this law is one of the top priorities of activists in an effort to increase police accountability. Among the many demands made of local, state and federal government, some of which include disbanding the police all together, this one is relatively tame.
“We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his,” states the letter, which was signed by Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, Meek Mill, Nas, Demi Lovato and more. “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 It must be repealed immediately.”
The reform letter has been signed by more than 300 artists, actors and athletes, as well as 200+ additional organizations and individual activists. The document is accompanied by a petition, which can be found here. See the full text address through this link, as well as the complete list of signatories.