CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in an Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board, “No more hiding behind the badge for bad cops." The editorial discusses the recent changes in New York law to provide greater oversight of law enforcement and calls for New Jersey to follow the example of New York and more than a dozen other states to provide greater transparency in records of police misconduct.
“The reality is, New Jersey is among the worst states when it comes to police transparency — internal affairs records are impossible to get, and disciplinary records are mostly inaccessible,” says CJ Griffin of Pashman-Stein, the eminent media attorney and OPRA [attorney].”
“The public has a right to know when cops engage in misconduct, because they must uphold rigorous standards. They’re allowed to exert tremendous power, carry deadly weapons, and arrest us. And evidence from every state shows that the secretive internal affairs process doesn’t work when they abuse that power. Nobody knows the outcomes, and no one can monitor how effective it is.”
Griffin’s lament: “Transparency isn’t even on the legislature’s radar right now,” she says. “And it’s the most basic component for accountability, because if you don’t know what’s happening, you can’t advocate to stop it or change it.”
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