Black lives matter.
On May 25th, Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd. Before him, police in Louisville gunned down Breonna Taylor in her own home. And before her, two white men, one of whom was a former police officer, violently murdered Ahmaud Arbury while he was jogging. For Mr. Floyd and Mr. Arbury, it was not until after the community spoke up and demanded action that arrests were made. We are still awaiting similar action for Ms. Taylor. These arrests are the beginning, but they are not enough. The Black community is in pain. Far too many people are only just now waking up to the history and existence of systemic racism among too many police officers and our justice system as a whole.
Center for Family Representation (CFR) defends over 2500 Black and Brown parents who are impacted by poverty and who are at risk of losing children to foster care or incarceration. Half have had their children taken from them when a fairer and better social services, housing, and economic system would mean that their children can stay home. One third of our clients are arrested for the same events that lead to their children entering foster care.
CFR stands in support of the Black community and against the violence and racism that robs far too many other Black people of their lives. We continue to stand with those engaging in peaceful protest. Our mission has always been to help keep families together safely. Being safe means not living in fear that the same people charged with protecting you could take your life or that of a loved one without repercussion.
No one should have to fear that a normal everyday activity will end in death because of the color of their skin. This is the fear that members of the Black and Brown community carry with them on a daily basis. We must dismantle the systems that created and perpetuate this reality. Systemic change is the only solution to the racism engrained in so many of our institutions. As a start, we are calling on New York State Legislators to support S8496/A10611 that repeals Civil Rights Law §50-A, the statute so often cited by police to bar the release of misconduct records. Repeal of §50-A is an important step towards full protection, accountability, and transparency communities deserve.
Black lives matter.
Support for S8496/A10611
This legislation will ensure greater police accountability and abolish the secrecy awarded to police officers, a secrecy which is not given to most other public servants, and which reinforces the deep-seated institutional racism present in New York’s police.
Support for Safer NY Act
This important package of bills call for greater police transparency and accountability. Three of these bills – the bill to repeal 50-a (A10611/S8496), the Police STAT Act (A10609/S1830C, and legislation to strengthen and codify the office of the Special Prosecutor (A1601C/S2574C) – are an important first step in addressing the danger of unchecked police action and the detrimental impact that police intimidation and violence have on communities of color.