Right To Know Act

About the Legislation

The Right To Know Act is a legislative package to protect the civil and human rights of New Yorkers in everyday encounters with the NYPD by improving transparency and accountability. It consists of two bills (Int. 182B & Int. 541A) that are endorsed by 200+ organizations, have majority support in the NYC Council and are awaiting a vote.

Int. 182B of the Right to Know Act would help end abuses in a range of non-emergency police encounters by requiring officers to identify themselves and explain the reason for the official interaction.

Int. 541A would help end deceptive and unconstitutional searches by requiring officers to explicitly convey a person’s right to refuse a search when their consent is the only legal justification, and obtain objective proof that a person gave informed and voluntary consent. 

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Communities Need Legislation

As policing abuses become increasingly enabled through the actions and rhetoric of the current presidential administration, it is imperative for local officials to take concrete actions to protect New Yorkers, like passing the Right to Know Act. Yet there has been an attempt to prevent a vote on the Right to Know Act by striking a private deal with the NYPD. The Right to Know Act was introduced in 2014 and has gone through the transparent, democratic legislative process, earning support from a majority of NYC Council members and over 200 organizations from across the city and nation.

The unwritten deal, not accessible to the public and stripped of meaningful changes, removed any reliable measures of police accountability and the most important protections of the Right to Know Act, including policies explicitly prioritized by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The public revelation of the deal only increased support for the Right to Know Act, with more organizations endorsing the legislation and additional council members becoming co-sponsors in support. See the differences between the Right to Know Act and the deal »

Right To Know Act News

Three Actions NYC Mayor and Other Public Officials Must Take to Protect Its Citizens from Police Abuses

Atlanta Black Star

In the weeks since Donald Trump won the presidential election and assumed office, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has sought every opportunity to present himself as opposed to Trump. While de Blasio has promoted his administration as a defender against Trump’s anti-immigrant and racist agenda, he has refused to take concrete action within his own power to protect New Yorkers.

A True Sanctuary City Requires Action to Change The NYPD

As New Yorkers resist the Trump administration’s racist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and other discriminatory actions, it’s more urgent now than ever for New York’s elected and public officials to take action to protect our communities.  We saw some of that in Albany this week with the State Assembly passing criminal justice reform legislation, even as action is still needed in NYC to end broken windows policing and pass the Right to Know Act.

Revealing Documentary on the Right To Know Act

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The film, titled "Police Reform, Ramarley Graham, and The Right To Know Act,” details the story of how the city pushed hard to legislate a promising police reform this year, but ultimately failed when City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and former NYPD Commissioner William Bratton struck a deal to implement the act administratively, but not by law.

Endorse the Right to Know Act

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