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CJ Griffin Quoted in Article regarding Release of Officers’ Names by NJ AG in Najee Seabrooks Case


CJ Griffin, Partner and Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the article, “NJ Attorney General releases names of officers who fatally shot Najee Seabrooks.” The articles discusses the release of the police officers’ names, by the New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin, following the fatal shooting of Najee Seabrooks. 

Lawyer CJ Griffin, one of New Jersey’s leading champions of government transparency and freedom of information litigation, filed the public records request in the Seabrooks case that prompted the attorney general's office to say there were alleged threats against Paterson police.

Griffin said it was very rare for the attorney general's office to withhold the names of police officers in response to record requests. In one such denial, Griffin sued the state and won, saying the courts rejected security concerns as the reason for withholding the names. Griffin was not satisfied with the information that the attorney general's office provided on Tuesday.

“It’s been several days, and no official information has been given out — just what unnamed sources have selectively wanted to tell the press,” Griffin said earlier in the day about the Seabrooks probe. “The community is mourning and protesting, demanding an explanation. The delay is painful.”

Griffin said the state provided an explanation for not releasing the officers’ names.

“Release of information identifying the involved officers will jeopardize their safety and may jeopardize investigations in progress,” the attorney general's office said. “A particularized actual threat was made against law enforcement officers. Accordingly, disclosure of their identifying information would not only ‘be harmful to a bona fide law enforcement purpose’ but also to ‘the public safety.’”

To view the article, click here.  

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