Wednesday (Feb. 8), the #BlackLivesMatter movement and New York citizens accumulated a major ‘W’ at the expense of the New York Police Department. Writer, organizer and NYC resident, Keegan Stephan took to Twitter to announce that Supreme Court Judge Manuel Mendez ordered the NYPD to release the surveillance records they gathered from peaceful protests. The protests in question followed the unjust killings of Eric Garner (Staten Island, NY) and Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO) which occurred virtually one month apart.
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) February 8, 2017
The case was initiated by activist, James Logue with Stecklow Thompson law firm, on the basis that keeping these records undercover denied the rights protected under the Freedom of Information Act. This act “gives you the right to access information from the federal government.” The essential purpose is to keep citizens of the U.S. aware of the actions and intentions of the government.
The NYPD failed to prove that making the materials public “could endanger the life and safety of any person.” So the judge ruled in favor of Logue.
The materials in question include “multimedia files and communications between undercover officers assigned to the protests and their handlers.”
Logue’s main concern was in suspicion that the police were “compiling dossiers” on individuals at these constitutional protests. Such an act isn’t strange to law enforcement. The same conspiracy Logue had feared was the reality of Black Panther activist, Rodney Barnette.
An unjust pattern in history was stopped in its tracks Wednesday (Feb. 8), and that’s something worth celebrating.
An important victory. https://t.co/A7wNNWuw0k
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 8, 2017
Always proud to stand with activists using tools of transparency. When NYPD delays and denies, we stand up, sue… https://t.co/CofJb4bbPS
— S&T LAW (@wylielawfirm) February 8, 2017