Gwen carr
Eric Garner's family hold press conference regarding the firing of NYDP officer Daniel Panateleo, New York, USA - 19 Aug 2019 | Photo Credit: MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Mothers of Sons Killed by Police Call for End to NY Police Secrecy Law

The mothers of sons who have been killed by police officers in New York have banded together to call for an end to a law that keeps law enforcement officers’ disciplinary records secret. This group includes Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed in 2014 in a chokehold by a police officer. It made national headlines, and “I can’t breathe” has become a rallying cry at protests against police brutality and secrecy.

“We need to repeal and end the law that protects officers who kill our children and our loved ones,” Carr said, testifying Thursday at a hearing in New York City on a legislative proposal to repeal the law, the Associated Press reported.

Carr hopes that New York lawmakers will repeal the law, called 50-a. It also applies to correctional officers and firefighters.

“The public needs this information,” Valerie Bell, the mother of police shooting victim Sean Bell, told the Associated Press. “This is about public safety. Hiding this information means that officers who are repeat offenders are allowed to keep their jobs.”

Related Article: Black 12-Year-Old Amir Worship Shot, Maimed During SWAT Raid

But powerful interests are against the change, including police unions.

New York City’s Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch wrote in a statement that 50-a “is even more important in 2019 than it was when first enacted in 1976,” according to the Associated Press.

The law was originally put into place to stop defense attorneys from cross-examining police officers with immaterial information in their personnel file, according to a report last year from the state’s Committee on Open Government.

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill has said that he supports changing the law so there is more public transparency and accountability around disciplinary actions taken against law enforcement and correctional officers.

Latest News

CDO Series: Humana’s Carolyn Tandy

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the first interview of a series of articles…

The Importance of Education-Focused Community Partnerships

Community partnerships focused on education are vital to creating and improving the network that connects diverse, underrepresented students and young professionals with employers seeking new talent. For Stephanie Turner, VP of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Innovation at MITRE, advocation starts at the root of education: grade school curriculum, especially in…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: August 4

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. The Supreme Court’s…

Mastercard Names Ellen Jackowski Chief Sustainability Officer

Originally published at Mastercard ranked No. 2 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.   Mastercard announced Ellen Jackowski will join the company as Chief Sustainability Officer starting July 25, 2022. In this role, she will be instrumental in further integrating Mastercard’s Environmental, Social and Governance…

Seven Startups Join Mastercard Start Path Program, Supporting Underrepresented Founders

Originally published at Mastercard ranked No. 2 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.   Mastercard is expanding its award-winning Start Path startup engagement program to include seven early and late-stage startups hailing from the United States, Canada and Latin America. Carbon Neutral Club, Guava, oneKIN, Palla, SUMA…