Rihanna, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, and a number of other music celebrities have signed an open letter calling for New York State to reform statue 50-A amid the ongoing atrocities against black people.
Statue 50-A is a civil law that keeps police officers’ disciplinary records “confidential and not subject to inspection or review.” The letter was shared on Monday, June 8.
The letter is addressed to Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The letter follows the ongoing wave of protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25.
“We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his,” reads the letter. “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 It must be repealed immediately.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,” the letter reads.
The letter has been signed by hundreds of members of the music industry, including artists, managers, publishers, trade groups, executives and record labels.
In addition to Rihanna, Migos, and Megan Thee Stallion, the letter was also signed by Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber, Meek Mill, Nas, Demi Lovato and many more.