Former President Barack Obama talked with local and national leaders in the police reform movement to discuss the tragic events of recent weeks.
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The numerous celebrities supporting the repeal of New York statute 50-A have reason to celebrate.
The statute, which has prevented the personnel and disciplinary records of any police officer, corrections officer or firefighter from being made public, was overturned Tuesday.
New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey shared a statement following his victory via Twitter Tuesday afternoon.
“Today, I am proud to announce the passage of my bill repealing this unjust law,” his statement read. “The essence of good government is transparency and accountability, and our nation is at a crossroads when it comes to police-community relations.”
Nearly 400 entertainers including Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Lizzo and Ariana Grande have called for police reform following the killing of George Floyd.
In a petition shared Monday, the industry stars addressed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York legislative members to repeal 50-A.
“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,” reads the petition.
“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 It must be repealed immediately.”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 lengthy list of signatures from celebrities includes Cynthia Erivo, Kelly Rowland, Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes, Billie Eilish, ASAP Ferg, Blondie, Billy Porter, Chaz Bono, David Guetta, Demi Lovato, DJ Pauly D, Earth, Wind and Fire, Future, Justin and Hailey Bieber, J Balvin, Jamie Lynn Spears, Jonas Brothers, Kiefer Sutherland, Leslie Odom Jr., Mandy Moore, Mary J. Blige, Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, Meghan Trainor, Norah Jones, Offset, Paula Abdul, Post Malone, Robin Thicke, Sara Bareilles, Scooter Braun, SEAL, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tinashe, Wale and YG.
More than 300 record labels, industry executives, management companies, lawyers and other entertainment industry members also showed support for the petition.
Cuomo previously said the statute “should not prohibit the release of disciplinary records.”
Cuomo on Friday urged state lawmakers to make police disciplinary records transparent through changes to the statute, among other legislation seeking to address concerns raised by recent protests.
The governor dubbed the plans – which include a push to ban the use of chokeholds by police – the “Say Their Name” reform agenda, referring to a list of people of color who died at the hands of police in recent decades, culminating with Floyd’s death on Memorial Day in Minnesota.Gov.
The petition argued the reform agenda is not enough.
“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 reads. “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.”
Contributing: Erin Jensen, USA TODAY and David Robinson, The (New York) Journal News
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