Court Rules in Favor of Freedom of Information Laws


Transparency is not about restoring trust in institutions. Transparency is the politics of managing mistrust.

-Ivan Krastev

From the exploitative presidential elections to mistrust between the police and the public, one can’t deny the poisonous atmosphere that surrounds us. In the midst of this, our team wanted to personally reach out and share with you a monumental victory that paves the way for honesty, transparency, and a stronger relationship between the police and the public. We will pursue further victory and have since made oral arguments at the Appellate Division concerning this case. We are thankful for the support we are receiving from civil rights groups, media groups, and the community during this trial. Read on to learn more about this pivotal victory.

Over 4 years ago, a young Rutgers University student requested records related to any NYPD investigation of himself. A full six months later, the NYPD not only unlawfully denied him the requested information, they invoked a federal principle known as the “Glomar Doctrine”, and refused to acknowledge whether any such records existed.

This young Muslim student, Samir Hashmi, sought help from our team and we fought tirelessly on his behalf. Ultimately, we brought him the justice that he and his fellow Muslim students deserved. On November 17, 2014, the New York County Supreme Court issued a decision that the NYPD cannot legally invoke “Glomar” in an attempt to sidestep the State Freedom of Information Law.

We will use this victory as momentum as we fight to challenge the ruling in Abdur-Rashid’s case from 2014. Abdur-Rashid requested similar files and after invoking “Glomar”, the NYPD also denied him any information. OTMLAW appealed the decision and are confident of the disposition. Oral argument on both these men’s cases was held on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016. We believe Hashmi’s prominent case marks a historic victory for the Muslim community and will pave the way for justice for both him and Abdur-Rashid at the Appellate Division.

Both cases were argued before the Appellate Division First Department on March 8, 2016.

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