CJ Griffin Quoted in New Jersey Law Journal on N.J. Attorney General’s Disclosure Policy Being Met with Both Hope and Skepticism
CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal article, “NJ AG’s New Disclosure Policy for Police Disciplinary Records Met With Both Hope and Skepticism.” The article discusses the recent directive issued by the New Jersey Attorney General requiring police departments to create a summary report for public release upon request, which report details certain police misconduct. The article also discusses the landmark case litigated by Griffin, Richard Rivera v. the Union County Prosecutor's Office, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court held in March that internal affairs reports may be released pursuant to the common law right of access.
“In other states, you can get access to internal affairs files and learn all about police misconduct, but in New Jersey, they have always been shrouded in secrecy,” said CJ Griffin, a partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden and director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center. “That opened up a tiny bit in 2020 after George Floyd was murdered.”
“Rivera essentially gave us access to internal affairs reports for the first time ever,” said Griffin who argued on behalf of Rivera before the New Jersey Supreme Court. “It was a landmark decision.”
However, Griffin continued, Platkin’s new policy “changes that under the guise of transparency.”
“What I find really problematic is instead of having a singular investigative report that includes the summary and conclusion, now the policy says every case must have two reports,” Griffin said.
“One is the investigative report and the other is a summary and conclusions report intended for the public,” said Griffin. “That is highly problematic because the one that’s going to be released is obviously going to be sanitized.”
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