Yesterday, June 8th, hundreds of artists, managers, executives, record labels and music industry professionals signed an open letter calling for New York state to repeal statute 50-A, a law that keeps police officers’ personnel and disciplinary records hidden from public view, as Billboard reports.
The letter has been signed by more than 300 artists such as Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Nas, Nile Rodgers, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Blondie, Bob Moses, Justin Bieber, Lizzo, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Meek Mill, Future, Post Malone, as well as more than 200 additional organizations and individual supporters.
See the full text of the letter below.
“We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his. 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 It must be repealed immediately.
It is not enough to chip away at 50-A; this boulder in the path of justice has stood in the way for far too long and must be crushed entirely. It is not just a misreading of the statute; it is not just an inappropriate broadening of its scope. It is the statute itself, serving to block relevant crucial information in the search for accountability.
We were pleased to hear the Governor’s statement that 50-A should not prohibit the release of disciplinary records. But, clearly, 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.
The letter, which is also accompanied by a petition, will be sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.