Reclaim New York held a press convention saying transparency undertaking in authorities permitting on a regular basis residents to file FOIL native governments with out hinderance. Ricky Flores/lohud

Mount Vernon, Ramapo and White Plains are named within the report.

Three native police departments are consultant of a sample of regulation enforcement businesses throughout New York state ignoring authorized obligations to offer info to the general public, in accordance with a report by the New York Civil Liberties Union launched immediately.

The police departments in Mount Vernon, White Plains and Ramapo all missed authorized deadlines and took greater than a yr handy over data that the NYCLU requested for by means of Freedom of Info Regulation requests, according to the report, called “Taking Cover.” The state’s Freedom of Information Law gives members of the public access to government records, with some exceptions. 

In 2015 the NYCLU sent FOIL requests to 23 police departments in the state — including those three local agencies — for records about use of force, stops and detentions, complaints about misconduct, racial profiling and use of surveillance equipment.


SUCCESS: A FOIL story on a Tax Watch assessment project

FOIL: Appeals to be shortened in NY

VIEW: Government smokescreens hide accountability

“Many departments completely ignored legal deadlines,” the NYCLU wrote in its report. “Many did not respond to our request until we involved town or city attorneys.

“Out of 23 departments, 20 delayed their initial response to our request beyond what is permissible under the law. We were forced to file administrative appeals or lawsuits in 22 of our 23 requests. This is unacceptable.”

The NYCLU said it filed appeals, which must be resolved within 10 business days, for 22 of those departments because of delays with the agencies providing the requested information. Eight of those departments still have not sent complete responses, the NYCLU said.

The police departments in Mount Vernon, Ramapo and White Plains all failed to send their initial FOIL response within the time required, according to the NYCLU. FOIL mandates that a records access officer must respond to a records request within five business days and, if the access is granted, provide those records within 20 business days.

The NYCLU said it appealed its White Plains request after seven months and received a complete records response 15 months after its FOIL request.

Ramapo’s delay prompted an appeal after two months, as well as a lawsuit that the NYCLU filed on May 10, 2016. The NYCLU said Ramapo completed its records request 15 months after the FOIL request.

The NYCLU said it had to file three appeals for its Mount Vernon request, and that the city’s Police Department completed the FOIL request 22 months after it was filed.

Officials in Mount Vernon, Ramapo…