Judges Hear Challenge to NYPD Transparency in Spy Lawsuits

State appellate judges have heard arguments over the NYPD's use of a Cold War-era federal legal doctrine to deny releasing records.

At issue Tuesday in Manhattan is whether police can invoke the so-called Glomar doctrine to neither confirm nor deny the existence of certain documents.

Two lower court judges have issued conflicting rulings in lawsuits brought by Muslim men seeking NYPD records under the state's Freedom of Information Law related to their possible surveillance.

One was brought by a Rutgers University student looking for records about possible spying of his student Muslim association by the police. Another similar suit was brought by a Harlem imam.

In an amicus brief, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 20 media organizations warn that Glomar impedes transparency.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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