KEY POINTS

  • Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and over a hundred others in the music industry signed a petition urging New York to repeal statute 50-A
  • The letter will be sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has touted a reform in the statute as part of a four-part police reform package
  • High-profile artists who also signed the petition include Justin Bieber, Migos, Demi Lovato and Megan Thee Stallion, among many others

Rihanna and Ariana Grande reportedly joined hundreds of other music industry professionals in signing an open letter urging New York police reform.

The letter, which aims to repeal statute 50-A — a condition which shields police disciplinary records from public view — was publicly shared alongside an accompanying petition, Rolling Stone reported.

“We mourn the killing of George Floyd and the unnecessary loss of so many black lives before his. We must hold accountable those who violate the oath to protect and serve, and find justice for those who are victim to their violence. An indispensable step is having access to disciplinary records of law enforcement officers. New York statute 50-A blocks that full transparency, shielding a history of police misconduct from public scrutiny, making it harder to seek justice and bring about reform. It must be repealed immediately,” the open letter read.

“It is not enough to chip away at 50-A; this boulder in the path of justice has stood in the way for far too long and must be crushed entirely. It is not just a misreading of the statute; it is not just an inappropriate broadening of its scope. It is the statute itself, serving to block relevant crucial information in the search for accountability. We were pleased to hear the Governor’s statement that 50-A should not prohibit the release of disciplinary records. But, clearly, it is not enough. 50-A has been used far too often in the past and, without repeal, it will continue to be used to block justice. When the Legislature returns this week, we urge members to recognize the moment, take one loud, bold, and meaningful step in addressing this systemic problem, and swiftly repeal 50-A,” it continued.

Among the other high-profile artists who signed the letter were Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber, Migos, Demi Lovato, Megan Thee Stallion and Meek Mill. The letter for the police reform petition was reportedly released in the wake of the now-global protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, as well as similar cases of police brutality in the past several years.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who will be receiving the open letter, is also bringing the 911 false accusation bill to state lawmakers, along with other changes such as the banning of law enforcement officials from using a chokehold, Complex reported.

Cuomo has since touted a reform to statute 50-A along with New York Senate majority leader Andrew Stewart-Cousins and assembly speaker Carl Heastie.

A statue of Nelson Mandela is seen holding a Black Lives Matter placard in London's Parliament Square as demonstrators show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the George Floyd killing A statue of Nelson Mandela is seen holding a Black Lives Matter placard in London's Parliament Square as demonstrators show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the George Floyd killing Photo: AFP / JUSTIN TALLIS