Protest: NYPD Blocks Media From Complaint Reports
[Open Letter To Police Commissioner]
December 9, 2013
The New York Press Club, Inc.
1636 Third Avenue (Box 188)
New York NY 10128
Serving New York's Journalists since 1948
Dear Commissioner Kelly:
On behalf of the New York Press Club, I strongly protest NYPD's latest decision to cut-off a long-standing source of information, vital to New Yorkers.
The policy change to deny media access to complaint reports at the precinct level is, to us, another example of blatant hostility by NYPD toward locally-based media outlets that disseminate information about neighborhood occurrences to residents of those neighborhoods. We are stumped by the question of why NYPD now requires community reporters to scurry down to the notoriously uncommunicative and uncooperative DCPI office to examine incident reports that originate locally. One inescapable conclusion about the new policy is that NYPD wishes to "edit" or otherwise obfuscate the information in question. At the very least, the policy unnecessarily complicates public access to information and data that should instead be freely available.
This new restriction on openness and accessibility is, in our opinion, another disturbing example of the department's recent, relentless slide towards non-accountability. We therefore request restoration of the previous, long-standing policy and its expansion to all precincts. We also request, for publication, an explanation of the reasoning behind NYPD's latest decision to constrict access.
CC: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor-elect William de Blasio, William J. Bratton, John McCarthy, Donna Lieberman, Esq.