NYPD has access to millions of arrest records meant to be sealed: report

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The NYPD has “digitally warehoused” millions of sealed arrest records that officers can access via their phones — despite the fact that it has been illegal for police officers in New York state to access sealed arrest records for decades, according to a report. 

Court documents included as part of a class-action lawsuit filed against the NYPD in 2018 show that the department “has digitally warehoused more than 6.9 million sealed arrest records of more than 3.5 million New Yorkers,” HuffPost reported

NYPD officers can access those records via their smartphones, according to the outlet. Legally, the department is supposed to either get rid of arrest records or return them if a person’s case is “terminated in their favor,” the outlet reported.

“The court already said the NYPD isn’t allowed to use these documents and share them with its officers,” Bronx Defenders attorney Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, who represents the plaintiffs in the 2018 lawsuit, told HuffPost. “Yet they’re still sharing them, and on a mass scale.” 

In a motion to dismiss the suit, the NYPD argued that the law doesn’t bar officers from accessing records, but rather is meant to keep people from experiencing “stigma in employment, education, licensing, and insurance,” the outlet reported. 

The NYPD declined to comment on HuffPost’s story, as the lawsuit is ongoing.