NYPD Sued For Releasing Info On Sealed Arrests

Public defenders in New York City have accused Mayor Eric Adams and the NYPD of improperly using sealed criminal court records to manipulate public perception of bail reform’s impact on repeat crime, Matt Katz reports for the Gothamist.

At the center of the controversy? An August press conference where NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Adams castigated bail reform and pointed to 10 repeat criminals they called “the worst of the worst.”

Public defenders including a coalition from the Bronx Defenders filed suit against the city in Manhattan Supreme Court accusing the NYPD of abusing civil rights through accessing records they’re not legally entitled to, sealed through dismissal, acquittal or downgraded charges. The Defenders already won a preliminary injunction against the NYPD in 2021 where the NYPD agreed to instruct officers not to release information about sealed arrests to the media. City attorneys argue the NYPD is not precluded by the agreement from “compiling and disclosing data” to influence legislators.

Beyond that, all 10 of the offenders official cited in the press conference not released due to bail reform and were eligible to be held on bail. New Yorkers charged with crimes while they have a pending felony charge or conviction against them or while out on parole/probation are eligible for bail even under New York’s bail reform laws.

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