New York Times Suing NYPD Over FOIL Requests

Can The Grey Lady take on the boys (and girls) in blue? That’s what one lawsuit aims to find out: The New York Times is suing the New York Police Department, which the paper claims has “routinely violated a state law that requires government agencies to provide information to the press and the public.”

As the Times itself reported:

“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.”

“The police have performed outstanding service to this city,” Mr. McCraw added, “but it’s important that they also meet their duties under the Freedom of Information Law. People have a right to know what public agencies are doing, and how they are doing it, so that there can be an informed public debate over what policies are pursued and how tax dollars are spent.”

An NYPD spokesperson counters the NYT‘s claims, saying that “none of the FOIL requests about which the Times complains, is, in our view, ripe for litigation.”

Two fundamental civic institutions duking it out in a State Supreme Court? It’s like The Wire, but with fewer deaths! And all the Wall Street Journal has to do is sit back and laugh.

[Via The Cutline]

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