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Nassau PBA's James Carver defends 50-a law

James Carver, president of the department's largest union,

James Carver, president of the department's largest union, criticized a report in Newsday that sought to examine the law's reach and detailed hundreds of allegations of officer misconduct in both the Nassau and Suffolk police departments.(Dec.19, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

The president of the Nassau Police Benevolent Association Thursday defended the state's 50-a law, which allows alleged police misconduct to be kept confidential, saying the law prevents unfair public scrutiny of officers.

James Carver, president of the department's largest union, criticized a report in Newsday that sought to examine the law's reach and detailed hundreds of allegations of officer misconduct in both the Nassau and Suffolk police departments.

"Is there misconduct from time to time? Yes, any organization is going to have that," said Carver during a news conference at PBA headquarters in Mineola. He said the 50-a law "stops the nonsense" if a prosecutor or others try to "discredit a police officer."

Carver said the current discipline process within the police department is working and dismissed calls for outside investigators and a civilian complaint review board.

He said the Nassau County district attorney's office already provides the proper oversight of the police department and makes the public aware when criminal charges are filed against an officer.

"The internal process is working," he said. "Each and every complaint is investigated."

He said Newsday's story highlighted "a few cases that have been adjudicated."

"We're not the enemies," he said. "We're the friends. When you call 911, we're there in minutes."

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