FOIA Roundup: Cities pass more police transparency measures

FOIA Roundup: Cities pass more police transparency measures

Facial surveillance failure raises even more concerns

Written by
Edited by Michael Morisy

As protests for police accountability and reform continue, transparency changes are already taking place in cities across America — even as public records show emerging new challenges.

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Discipline records for New York fire and corrections will also be public

Following the repeal of New York’s Section 50-a, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the city would be creating a database to make public information on police disciplinary proceedings. According to him, the publicly-accessible collection will include firefighter and correctional officer records, which are also affected by the recent changes in the law. You can read more from Michael Garland and Rocco Parascandola in the New York Daily News. The Mayor has also confirmed he will be cutting $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget.

NYPD will also need to release surveillance info, City Council says

New York City Council approved a plan to require the NYPD to report and evaluate the surveillance technologies it uses, including the safeguards in place to protect the collected information. The Mayor will hold a hearing on the measure July 7. (New York City Council)

ACLU moves to defend man falsely arrested due to facial recognition

Robert Williams, a Black Michigan resident and father of two, has earned the unfortunate distinction of being the first individual known to have been falsely-arrested due to a facial recognition match. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint on his behalf last week. You can read more from Williams on the experience that upended a boring day in October 2018 in The Washington Post.

Will Delaware move to release its confidential police records?

Advocates in Delaware, a state that maintains its police personnel records are confidential, are asking that law enforcement to adopt new policies of transparency, including the adoption of body cameras statewide and the release of information on trainings and uses of force. Read more from Glen Battishill in the Delaware Gazette.

Records on sleeping Chicago officer released

The City of Chicago released records, including body camera footage, from the incident and ensuing conversation that led Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to be fired. Read more from the Better Government Association.

A look at voting across the states

The Brennan Center has a useful state-by-state breakdown of the election policies in place and where they stand on other measures that could help protect Americans’ right to vote in the November 2020 election.

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Image by JaxsonD via Wikimedia Commons and licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.