Rihanna, Meek Mill & More Celebs Call On NY Governor Andrew Cuomo To Implement Specific Police Reform

Artists and activists want the New York state legislature to ensure police transparency by repealing 50-A.

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(AllHipHop News) In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, anti-police violence/anti-racism protests continue to happen all around the globe. One week ago, the music industry attempted to bring awareness to the #BlackLivesMatter movement for police reform by posting black squares on Instagram as part of #BlackoutTuesday. 

Yesterday, numerous entertainers helped take a significant step towards improving America’s law enforcement culture by joining forces to end the practice of hiding records of cop misconduct and abuse from the public. Artists, media figures, athletes, activists, and more signed an open letter calling for the repeal of section 50-A of New York’s Civil Rights Law which many argue protects problematic police officers.

6lack, Anderson .Paak, Angie Martinez, A$AP Ferg, Boogie, Chika, Dave East, DRAM, Future, IDK, J Balvin, Lil Dicky, Lil Tjay, Lizzo, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, Migos, Miguel, Peter Rosenberg, Post Malone, Rihanna, RZA, SAINt JHN, Saweetie, Take a Daytrip, Terius “The-Dream” Nash, Teyana Taylor, Tinashe, Tori Kelly, Wale, YG, and Young Guru are among the signatories.

The letter is addressed to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie. Cuomo has stated that he will sign legislation that repeals section 50-A if the bill passes the state legislature. 

Read the “Repeal 50-A” open letter below.

Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie:

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 It must be repealed immediately.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.

Thank you.