Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Times Sues NYPD For Withholding Information

The Mayor of Accountability loves data and says that the DOE MUST release the Teacher Data Reports with all the errors in them to the press because there is NOTHING more important than data and parents MUST have this.

But strangely enough, he's not so keen on releasing NYPD data:

The New York Times has sued the New York Police Department, saying the department had routinely violated a state law that requires government agencies to provide information to the press and the public.

In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, The Times described four requests made by reporters this year for information that it said the police had delayed or denied. The Times said the department’s handling of the requests reflected a pattern and practice by which the police avoided providing material that the State Freedom of Information Law said must be released.

“We’ve become increasingly concerned over the last two years about a growing lack of transparency at the N.Y.P.D.,” said David E. McCraw, a vice president and assistant general counsel of The New York Times Company. “Information that was once released is now withheld. Disclosures that could be made quickly are put on hold for months.”


In the lawsuit, The Times asked for a judicial order requiring the police to turn over the information and barring the Police Department “from continuing its pattern and practice of violating FOIL,” the acronym for the Freedom of Information Law.

Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said that based on a preliminary review of The Times’s lawsuit, “none of the FOIL requests about which The Times complains, is, in our view, ripe for litigation.”

“These requests are being processed by the N.Y.P.D. in accordance with controlling law,” Mr. Browne said by e-mail. “We disagree with The Times’s interpretation of FOIL as contained in the papers we received.”


The four requests from Times reporters were for the addresses of New York City residents who had been granted gun permits, for the Police Department’s database on hate crimes, for its database on crime incident reports and for the tracking log on Freedom of Information requests.

The lawsuit said the police had “no legal basis for withholding the materials sought” by the reporters.

It said the police had released the hate crimes database to The Times once before, in 2005.

The lawsuit also said the police had regularly failed to respond to requests as fast as the law required and had failed to consider appeals quickly when the department denied a request.

In recent years, the department has maintained a tight grip on what the public knows and does not know about its inner workings. Its strict control of information has ranged from data on crime trends to nuggets of information sought by journalists, scholars, lawmakers and others.

So a tight grip on NYPD data, including crime stats, but they want to publish the TDR's with all the errors as soon as possible.

Just another example of the hypocritical Mayor of Accountability in action.

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