Earlier today (June 8), a number of artists, managers, and music industry professionals signed an open letter urging New York state to repeal statute 50-A—a law that conceals police officers’ personnel and disciplinary records from public view, as Billboard reports. The letter was signed by the likes of Rihanna, Nas, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Meek Mill, Future, Post Malone, and many more. “We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his,” the petition begins. “We must hold accountable those who violate the oath to protect and serve, and find justice for those who are victim to their violence.” Find the full 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 It must be repealed immediately.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.
Over the weekend, thousands more New Yorkers took to the streets to protest police brutality against people of color, and to mourn the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others at the hands of police officers. Many of the nation-wide demonstrations were scored by regional music, marching bands, and more.
Read “Can Pop Stars Be Political Organizers?” on the Pitch.
Find resources in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism, including a list of organizations to donate to if you’re able, here.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork