The Sidney Hillman Foundation announced today that New York Daily News reporter Sarah Ryley’s collaboration with ProPublica, The NYPD is Running Stings Against Immigrant-Owned Shops, Then Pushing For Warrantless Searches, is the winner of the May Sidney Award. The monthly honor recognizes “outstanding journalism that fosters social and economic justice.”
Ryley’s investigation, the second in a series of major articles by the New York Daily News and ProPublica, detailed a New York Police Department practice called nuisance abatement actions – lawsuits that give police the power to get yearlong closures of businesses, under claims they are being used for illegal purposes. Her reporting found, however, that the law often ensnares legal mom-and-pop shops that are almost exclusively located in communities of color.
“Ryley combined sophisticated data journalism with dogged shoe leather reporting to tell a story of importance to all New Yorkers,” said Sidney judge Lindsay Beyerstein.
The series, which launched in February, has shown important results. The number of nuisance abatement actions filed by the NYPD has dropped significantly, and several city council members are considering reforms to safeguard abuses. Read more about the Sidney Award here.