The state’s highest court docket has simply protected the suitable of the NYPD to sidestep freedom of knowledge requests in a small subset of circumstances when responding to them in any respect would possibly threat secret, delicate terrorism investigations.
We rely ourselves as transparency hawks, however it’s the suitable name.
Plaintiffs Talib Abdur-Rashid and Samir Hashmi claimed that the NYPD violated state regulation safeguarding the general public’s proper to know when it declined to answer a request for data associated as to whether the lads had been targets of surveillance.
In a Four-Three ruling authored by Chief Decide Janet DiFiore, the Court docket of Appeals dominated that the division was on strong floor in refusing to affirm or deny the existence of the data.
The trick was that the mere acknowledgment by the NYPD that it was in possession of sure paperwork — an acknowledgement that everybody realizes would then be adopted by a legally sound refusal to supply these very paperwork, on public security grounds — would have compromised a essential terrorism investigation.
As DiFiore put it: “The necessity for presidency confidentiality could also be at its zenith when a regulation enforcement company is endeavor a covert investigation of people or organizations, the place the lives of the general public, cooperators and undercover officers could hold precariously within the steadiness and the status, livelihood or liberty of the topic could also be at stake.”
The NYPD should take care to not abuse this slender exception, which DiFiore made clear ought to solely be invoked in “uncommon” cases.
Which is a pleasant method of claiming the general public — and this newspaper — will preserve demanding an entire hell of a whole lot of important info, and never taking “no remark” for a solution.