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A00072 Summary:

BILL NOA00072
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORQuart
 
COSPNSRBichotte Hermelyn, Kim, Dilan, Benedetto, Epstein, Gottfried, Reyes, Hunter, Hyndman, Joyner
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 1-a, Civ Rts L; amd 89, Pub Off L; amd 160.50, 160.55, 160.58 & 160.59, CP L
 
Excludes video camera recordings from cameras worn or used by police from being included as personnel records; makes certain records available to independent review boards investigating allegations of police or law enforcement misconduct.
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A00072 Actions:

BILL NOA00072
 
01/06/2021referred to governmental operations
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A00072 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A72
 
SPONSOR: Quart
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the civil rights law and the public officers law, in relation to information included as personnel records; and to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to making certain records available to independent review boards investigating allegations of police or law enforcement misconduct   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Clarifies that recordings made by body cameras worn by police officers, among other recordings made by public safety officials, are not consid- ered personnel records pursuant to section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law, and are thus subject to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Section 50-a of the civil rights law is amended by adding a new subdivision 5 that: *Excludes recordings made of police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials in the course of duty, including, but not limit- ed to recordings made by body cameras worn by an officer, as well as the metadata from those recordings, from protection as personnel records under section 50-a of New York's Civil Rights Law. *Redacts all identifying details of all persons in a publicly released recording, including but not limited to facial features and voices. *Maintains all existing rights litigants in a civil or criminal action to access recordings or the metadata from those recordings. *Maintains all existing rights to use recordings or the metadata from those recordings for personnel decisions. *Permits anyone who requests a recording, as specified in this subdivi- sion, under FOIL to also request any agency records necessary to identi- fy any officer in the recording. Section 2: Section 50-a of the civil rights law is amended by adding a new subdivision 2 that: *Specifically defines the term "recording," as used in this chapter. Section 3: Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 89 of the public officers law is amended by: *Stating that disclosure shall not be construed to constitute an unwar- ranted invasion of personal privacy when identifying details redacted. Section 4: Establishes that this act shall take effect immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: Police body cameras, as well as other recording devices used by on-duty public safety officials, provide protection for officers and citizens alike. As the implementation of such recording devices continues, it is important that current law keep pace with such technology. Section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law effectively excludes personnel records from FOIL requests. According to the Committee on Open Government, a broad inter- pretation of the term personnel records could include body camera footage, therefore preventing public disclosure of such recordings. This bill clarifies that body camera recordings, among other recordings made by public safety officials, are not considered personnel records under section 50-a. Thus, this legislation ensures that body camera recordings, as well as the metadata from such recordings, should be subject to FOIL. By placing body camera recordings within the standard FOIL process while also mandating the redaction of all identifying details present in a given video, the bill balances the need for greater transparency in the everyday encounters between police officers and members of the public with a necessary commitment to privacy protections.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019-2020: A1685 referred to Governmental Operations 2017-2018: A4268 referred to Governmental Operations 2015-2016: A8368 referred to Governmental Operations   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: TBD   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
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A00072 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                           72
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                       (Prefiled)
 
                                     January 6, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. QUART, BICHOTTE, KIM, DILAN, BENEDETTO, EPSTEIN,
          GOTTFRIED, REYES, HUNTER, HYNDMAN, JOYNER -- read once and referred to
          the Committee on Governmental Operations
 
        AN ACT to amend the civil rights law and the  public  officers  law,  in
          relation  to  information  included as personnel records; and to amend
          the criminal procedure law, in  relation  to  making  certain  records
          available  to  independent  review boards investigating allegations of
          police or law enforcement misconduct
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The  opening paragraph of section 1-a of the civil rights
     2  law is designated subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is added to read
     3  as follows:
     4    2. The term "recording", as  used  in  this  chapter,  shall  mean  an
     5  original photographic record, disc, tape, audio or video cassette, wire,
     6  film,  hard drive, flash drive, memory card or other data storage device
     7  or any other medium on which such sounds, images,  or  both  sounds  and
     8  images  are or can be recorded or otherwise stored, or a copy or reprod-
     9  uction that duplicates in whole or in part the original.
    10    § 2. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 89 of the public  offi-
    11  cers  law,  as amended by section 11 of part U of chapter 61 of the laws
    12  of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
    13    (c) Unless otherwise provided by this article, disclosure shall not be
    14  construed to constitute an  unwarranted  invasion  of  personal  privacy
    15  pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision:
    16    i. when identifying details are deleted or redacted;
    17    ii.  when  the person to whom a record pertains consents in writing to
    18  disclosure;
    19    iii. when upon presenting reasonable proof of identity, a person seeks
    20  access to records pertaining to him or her; or

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01631-01-1

        A. 72                               2
 
     1    iv. when a record or group of records relates to the right,  title  or
     2  interest  in real property, or relates to the inventory, status or char-
     3  acteristics of real property, in which  case  disclosure  and  providing
     4  copies  of such record or group of records shall not be deemed an unwar-
     5  ranted  invasion of personal privacy, provided that nothing herein shall
     6  be construed to authorize the disclosure of electronic contact  informa-
     7  tion,  such  as an e-mail address or a social network username, that has
     8  been collected from a taxpayer under section one  hundred  four  of  the
     9  real property tax law.
    10    §  3. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 1 of section 160.50 of the criminal
    11  procedure law, as amended by chapter 449 of the laws of 2015, is amended
    12  to read as follows:
    13    (d) such records shall be made available to the person accused  or  to
    14  such  person's  designated  agent,  and shall be made available to (i) a
    15  prosecutor in any proceeding in which the accused has moved for an order
    16  pursuant to section 170.56 or 210.46 of this  chapter,  or  (ii)  a  law
    17  enforcement agency upon ex parte motion in any superior court, or in any
    18  district court, city court or the criminal court of the city of New York
    19  provided  that such court sealed the record, if such agency demonstrates
    20  to the satisfaction of the court that justice requires that such records
    21  be made available to it, or (iii) any state or local officer  or  agency
    22  with  responsibility  for the issuance of licenses to possess guns, when
    23  the accused has made application for such a license,  or  (iv)  the  New
    24  York  state department of corrections and community supervision when the
    25  accused is on parole supervision as a result of conditional release or a
    26  parole release granted by the New York state board of  parole,  and  the
    27  arrest  which  is the subject of the inquiry is one which occurred while
    28  the accused was under such supervision, or (v) any prospective  employer
    29  of  a  police  officer  or  peace  officer as those terms are defined in
    30  subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of section 1.20 of this  chap-
    31  ter, in relation to an application for employment as a police officer or
    32  peace  officer; provided, however, that every person who is an applicant
    33  for the position of police officer or peace officer shall  be  furnished
    34  with a copy of all records obtained under this paragraph and afforded an
    35  opportunity  to  make  an  explanation  thereto,  or  (vi) the probation
    36  department responsible for supervision of the accused  when  the  arrest
    37  which  is  the  subject  of  the inquiry is one which occurred while the
    38  accused was under such supervision, or (vii) an independent review board
    39  investigating allegations of police or law enforcement misconduct, where
    40  such records pertain to the allegations being investigated; and
    41    § 4. Paragraph (d) of subdivision 1 of section 160.55 of the  criminal
    42  procedure law, as amended by chapter 449 of the laws of 2015, is amended
    43  to read as follows:
    44    (d) the records referred to in paragraph (c) of this subdivision shall
    45  be  made  available to the person accused or to such person's designated
    46  agent, and shall be made available to (i) a prosecutor in any proceeding
    47  in which the accused has moved for an order pursuant to  section  170.56
    48  or  210.46  of  this  chapter,  or (ii) a law enforcement agency upon ex
    49  parte motion in any superior court, or in any district court, city court
    50  or the criminal court of the city of New York provided that  such  court
    51  sealed  the  record,  if such agency demonstrates to the satisfaction of
    52  the court that justice requires that such records be made  available  to
    53  it,  or  (iii)  any state or local officer or agency with responsibility
    54  for the issuance of licenses to possess guns, when the accused has  made
    55  application for such a license, or (iv) the New York state department of
    56  corrections  and  community supervision when the accused is under parole

        A. 72                               3

     1  supervision as a result of conditional release or parole release granted
     2  by the New York state board of  parole  and  the  arrest  which  is  the
     3  subject of the inquiry is one which occurred while the accused was under
     4  such supervision, or (v) the probation department responsible for super-
     5  vision  of  the  accused  when  the  arrest  which is the subject of the
     6  inquiry is one which occurred while the accused was  under  such  super-
     7  vision, or (vi) a police agency, probation department, sheriff's office,
     8  district attorney's office, department of correction of any municipality
     9  and  parole  department,  for  law  enforcement purposes, upon arrest in
    10  instances in which the individual stands convicted of harassment in  the
    11  second  degree, as defined in section 240.26 of the penal law, committed
    12  against a member of the same family or household as  the  defendant,  as
    13  defined in subdivision one of section 530.11 of this chapter, and deter-
    14  mined  pursuant  to subdivision eight-a of section 170.10 of this title,
    15  or (vii) an independent review board investigating allegations of police
    16  or law enforcement misconduct, where such records pertain to the allega-
    17  tions being investigated; and
    18    § 5. Subdivision 6 of section 160.58 of the criminal procedure law, as
    19  added by section 3 of part AAA of chapter 56 of the  laws  of  2009,  is
    20  amended to read as follows:
    21    6. Records sealed pursuant to this subdivision shall be made available
    22  to:
    23    (a) the defendant or the defendant's designated agent;
    24    (b)  qualified  agencies,  as  defined  in subdivision nine of section
    25  eight hundred thirty-five of the executive law, and  federal  and  state
    26  law  enforcement  agencies,  when  acting  within the scope of their law
    27  enforcement duties; or
    28    (c) any state or local officer or agency with responsibility  for  the
    29  issuance  of licenses to possess guns, when the person has made applica-
    30  tion for such a license; or
    31    (d) any prospective employer of a police officer or peace  officer  as
    32  those  terms are defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of
    33  section 1.20 of this chapter, in relation to an application for  employ-
    34  ment as a police officer or peace officer; provided, however, that every
    35  person  who  is an applicant for the position of police officer or peace
    36  officer shall be furnished with a copy of  all  records  obtained  under
    37  this paragraph and afforded an opportunity to make an explanation there-
    38  to[.]; or
    39    (e) an independent review board investigating allegations of police or
    40  law  enforcement  misconduct,  where such records pertain to the allega-
    41  tions being investigated.
    42    § 6. Subdivision 9 of section 160.59 of the criminal procedure law, as
    43  added by section 48 of part WWW of chapter 59 of the laws  of  2017,  is
    44  amended to read as follows:
    45    9. Records sealed pursuant to this section shall be made available to:
    46    (a) the defendant or the defendant's designated agent;
    47    (b)  qualified  agencies,  as  defined  in subdivision nine of section
    48  eight hundred thirty-five of the executive law, and  federal  and  state
    49  law  enforcement  agencies,  when  acting  within the scope of their law
    50  enforcement duties; or
    51    (c) any state or local officer or agency with responsibility  for  the
    52  issuance  of licenses to possess guns, when the person has made applica-
    53  tion for such a license; or
    54    (d) any prospective employer of a police officer or peace  officer  as
    55  those  terms are defined in subdivisions thirty-three and thirty-four of
    56  section 1.20 of this chapter, in relation to an application for  employ-

        A. 72                               4
 
     1  ment as a police officer or peace officer; provided, however, that every
     2  person  who  is an applicant for the position of police officer or peace
     3  officer shall be furnished with a copy of  all  records  obtained  under
     4  this paragraph and afforded an opportunity to make an explanation there-
     5  to; or
     6    (e)  the criminal justice information services division of the federal
     7  bureau of investigation, for the purposes of responding  to  queries  to
     8  the national instant criminal background check system regarding attempts
     9  to  purchase  or otherwise take possession of firearms, as defined in 18
    10  USC 921 (a) (3)[.]; or
    11    (f) an independent review board investigating allegations of police or
    12  law enforcement misconduct, where such records pertain  to  the  allega-
    13  tions being investigated.
    14    § 7. This act shall take effect immediately.
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