In the December, 30th article by the Journal News' Cops Release IDs of teen Shoplifting Suspects in Eastchester, the newspaper was successful in its FOIL challenge of the Eastchester Police policy on not releasing the names of four 16 year olds accused of shoplifting :
Each of the girls was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, Kiernan said(Eastchester Police Sgt. Matt Kiernan), because they allegedly were working together to steal the merchandise.Kiernan refused to release the names of the girls, saying it was department policy not to identify people who are under 21 and could be eligible for youthful-offender status.
That policy, however, may violate the state's Freedom of Information Law. Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, has said youthful-offender provisions do not apply when the charge involves a felony. And Mark A. Fowler, an attorney for The Journal News, has said youthful-offender provisions do not allow police to unilaterally withhold a suspect's identity.