A week after the music industry held a black out day to consider ways to support their Black artists, employees, and consumers and join the fight against police brutality, a number of industry professionals, including high-profile artists signed an open letter demanding police reform. According to Billboard, the letter pushes for the state of New York to repeal its statute 50-A, which conceals police officers’ personnel and disciplinary records from public view.
Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Future, Megan Thee Stallion, Meek Mill, Migos, Nas, Post Malone, and Rihanna are among those who signed the letter, which calls 50-A a “boulder in the path of justice.” The push comes amid public outcry in the wake of the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, which sparked nationwide protests that have gone on for weeks.
Read the full letter below.
We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his. 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 It must be repealed immediately.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.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.