CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in The Trentonian article, “Ewing refuses to release police force report, seeks Supreme Court intervention.”
Griffin filed suit on behalf of The Trentonian against Ewing Township, which had denied The Trentonian’s OPRA request for a use of force report that recorded force that police officers allegedly used against a 16-year-old. In a published decision in February 2020, the Appellate Division held that Ewing Township wrongly denied The Trentonian’s request and ordered the use of force report to be released, with certain redactions to protect the juvenile’s identity. Instead of complying with the order and releasing the report, the Township filed a petition for certification with the New Jersey Supreme Court seeking reversal of the Appellate Division’s order. The New Jersey Supreme Court has not yet granted or denied the Township’s petition.
“As people are rightfully taking to the streets to protest brutality, this moment demands as much transparency in policing as possible,” CJ Griffin, the attorney who filed the OPRA lawsuit on behalf of The Trentonian, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will let the Appellate Division’s well-reasoned decision stand so that we can gain access to the use of force reports as soon as possible and learn more about what occurred.”
“We need access to all use of force reports so that we can ensure that use of force policies are followed,” said Griffin of the Pashman Stein Walder Hayden media law group, “and so that we can flag officers who use force too much and demand a response from the police department superiors, be it re-training or discipline.”
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