CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in northjersey.com article, “Release of disciplined NJ police officers' names by Attorney General OK'd by state court.” The article discusses today’s published Appellate Division decision upholding two directives issued by NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in June requiring disclosure of the names of police officers who receive major discipline.
The Appellate Division’s published opinion discusses at length a lawsuit filed by our firm, Libertarians for Transparent Government v. N.J. State Police, and how it led to a “sea change” by the Attorney General. The Libertarians for Transparent Government lawsuit sought the name of a trooper who had been fired for “engaging in racially offensive behavior.” While the trial court and Appellate Division ruled against our client, the NJ Supreme Court granted certification last October. In mid-May, the Attorney General filed his last brief in the Supreme Court, still opposing the release of the name of the trooper. In June, the Attorney General reversed course in our lawsuit and released the name of the trooper, and subsequently issued the two directives requiring disclosure of police officers who received major discipline.
“Today’s opinion is a victory against the police unions who fight against every measure of transparency, but it’s important to remember that the directives provide only a small sliver of sunlight and we need the Legislature to make all police internal affairs records public so that we can start exposing real misconduct and holding officers accountable," said CJ Griffin, a Hackensack attorney who focuses on public records access.
Please click here for an online version of the article.
Links to additional media coverage:
October 16, 2020, NJ.com, "N.J. can release names of disciplined cops, state appeals court rules." To read article please click here.
October 16, 2020, Law.com, "Court OKs AG Directives, But What's Next For the Police Transparency Movement in NJ?" To read article please click here.
October 16, 2020, The Trentonian, "Appeals court: State AG Grewal may expose New Jersey’s bad-apple cops." To read article please click here.