“The police, one of the foundations of the criminal justice system, must ensure the public trust if the system is to perform its mission to the fullest.” U.S. Department of Justice

Across the state, law enforcement agencies are using dash cameras and body cameras, as well as a variety of written reports, to capture their officers’ daily activities and interactions with the public. From a public interest viewpoint, the public needs information about these interactions to evaluate the conduct of law enforcement officers, hold police departments accountable, and contribute meaningfully to discussions about law enforcement policy and reforms.

The Stein Public Interest Center is focused on expanding the rights of the media and citizens to have access to police records, including dash cam and body cam footage, Use of Force Reports, internal affairs records, and information about police-involved shootings.

Among the dozens of lawsuits we have filed to obtain police records, several have been particularly groundbreaking. For example, in the landmark New Jersey Supreme Court case North Jersey Media Group v. Twp. of Lyndhurst, 229 N.J. 541 (2017), our attorneys pursued The Record’s quest for police records relating to a deadly police-involved shooting. After a three-year litigation battle, we prevailed when the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the public was entitled to know the identities of the officers who shot and killed a suspect, and to review Use of Force Reports and dash camera footage relating to the shooting. The decision was praised by The New York Times’ Editorial Board.

The Stein Public Interest Center’s pursuit of police transparency is ongoing as we continue to litigate issues of first impression, such as public access to body camera footage, access to Use of Force Reports involving juvenile subjects, and access to information about police misconduct.

Our firm is proud of the results it has achieved for clients, some of which are noted here.  Of course, each legal matter is unique on many levels, and past successes are not a guarantee of results in any other pending or future matters.


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