NYCLU Releases NYPD Firearms Discharge Report, Calls on NYPD to Reveal Race of Shooting Victims

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
October 22, 2007 12:00 am


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NEW YORK – In a letter sent this morning to New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the New York Civil Liberties Union called on the NYPD to release documents identifying the race of all people shot by the police, as well as all of the annual reports the NYPD has compiled about its shooting practices.

With today’s request, the NYCLU is also releasing the recently completed NYPD Firearms Discharge Report for 2006, a document which covers the period of time during which NYPD officers fired 50 shots at an unarmed Sean Bell and two friends.

The NYCLU letter, from Executive Director Donna Lieberman and Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn, notes that “as highlighted by the Bell shooting, the role of race in police shootings remains a serious concern for many.” Because of this and because the Firearms Discharge reports contains no information about racial aspects of police shootings, the NYCLU has formally requested under the state’s Freedom of Information Law that the NYPD produce documents identifying the race of shooting victims over the last 10 years.

The NYCLU has also asked that the department produce copies of every annual Firearms Discharge Report. Though the NYPD does not publicly release these reports, the NYCLU believes they contain important information about shooting practices that should be made available to public officials outside the NYPD, to advocates, and to the general public.

“NYPD shooting practices raise important policy issues, particularly when race may be a factor,” Lieberman said.

Added Dunn, “We believe the NYPD must be more transparent when it comes to shooting incidents.”

Copies of both the NYCLU letter and the 2006 Firearms Discharge Report are available at www.nyclu.org

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