The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has made more than two decades of New York State Police use-of-force and officer misconduct records available.
The NYCLU says it was able to release the records through a Freedom of Information Law lawsuit against the NYSP from 2022.
"Prior to the repeal of section 50-a of the state civil rights law, such records were regularly withheld by departments incorrectly claiming their disclosure would violate state law," an NYCLU press release read.
The organization said its initial review of the records found that 7% of almost 2,300 misconduct investigations on use-of-force incidents were determined to have found misconduct by the State Police's internal investigations division. Of the almost 500 investigations which looked into possible racial or religious discrimination, only 5% were "founded," meaning it was found that the discrimination occurred.
Approximately 7,500 of the 18,233 alleged acts of State Police misconduct were founded, according to the records, but the NYCLU says "over half of these officers were given no more than a slap on the wrist."
“The true extent of the failure of the New York State Police oversight and disciplinary system was hidden from New Yorkers for decades by Section 50-a, but we’re now taking an important step to end this era of secrecy,” said NYCLU staff attorney Ify Chikezie in a statement.