CJ Griffin Quoted in Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board that NJ's Police Transparency is Failing and Should be Fixed
CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in in an Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board, “NJ’s police transparency effort is failing. Fix it.” The Opinion discusses the lack of key disclosures in the Attorney General’s new database of police disciplinary actions and that the level of transparency provided was not what was promised when the database was conceived.
Ask CJ Griffin, the Hackensack attorney who is the state’s leading advocate for public records access. She had predicted months ago in an NJ.com op-ed that Grewal’s reform was too weak to force compliance, and she is skeptical that [Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew]Bruck will fix it.
“Will he make an earnest attempt? Given that he was heralding the disclosures and repeating the same Grewal talking points, I sincerely doubt it,” Griffin said. “The fact that they published a database with massive amounts of missing information is a giveaway.”
One infuriating example: Griffin had obtained a misconduct report through an Open Records request and learned that an off-duty Jersey City cop was suspended for 19 days and lost 71 vacation days for firing his gun after drinking “6-8 beers,” that he was arrested by the State Police, and then placed in Pre-Trial Intervention.
The public record that now exists on the AG’s database, however, makes no mention of the alcohol, the fact that he fired his weapon during a dispute, and it doesn’t mention that he was arrested.
There are dozens of discrepancies like that one.
To view the Opinion of the Star Ledger Editorial Board, click here.