NYC to Share Police-Discipline Records After Unions’ Court Loss

New York City plans to publicly release police disciplinary records after a federal appeals court denied efforts to block their release.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday comes after city police and fire unions sued to block the city from creating a database of officer disciplinary records allowing the public to search through information such as officer names, shield number, complaints and instances of police misconduct.

Unions argued the information would put officers in danger and prevent them from securing employment. A lower court ruled that those concerns were unsubstantiated and the appeals court affirmed that decision Tuesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that he planned to release the disciplinary information as soon as the city could get clarification from the court on timing. The disclosure of officer disciplinary records had been blocked by a state law that was repealed last June, during the height of nationwide protests against police brutality, clearing the way for New York City to publish them for the public.

“We look forward to releasing this data and will seek clarity from the court regarding when these records can be released,” de Blasio said in a statement Tuesday. “Now, we can go even further to restore accountability and trust to the disciplinary process.”

The court’s decision comes just a month after the city updated its disciplinary process for officers, more clearly delineating the punishments for a series of offenses and calling for termination in the case of racial bias and excessively deadly force.

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