NEW YORK (PIX11) — A new report from an NYPD watchdog found more than 100 officers were guilty of misconduct during violent clashes with Black Lives Matter protesters back in the summer of 2020.
The report released Tuesday by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the NYPD’s oversight agency, came nearly two years after protests rocked New York City following the police-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The weeks of protest were met with an incredible amount of police manpower and interactions with demonstrators turned violent on multiple occasions — many of them caught on video and shared on social media.
The CCRB was tasked with reviewing more than 300 civilian complaints against police officers during the intense demonstrations. Of those, the agency substantiated 65 complaints of misconduct containing 187 allegations against 104 officers. The board recommended charges, the highest level of discipline, against 61 of those officers. These officers would face a departmental trial.
The board recommended another 18 officers receive Command Discipline B and an additional 25 officers receive Command Discipline A. So far, the NYPD has disciplined 10 officers out of the two dozen cases that have been finalized.
“Command Disciplines are recommended for misconduct that is more problematic than poor training but does not rise to the level of charges. An officer can lose up to 10 vacation days as a result of a Command Discipline,” the CCRB states on its website.
Additionally, the report indicated that one-third of the complaints could not be fully investigated because the agency couldn’t identify the officers involved, most often because officers hid identifying markers on their uniforms.
“The CCRB has seen unprecedented challenges in investigating these complaints, particularly around the identification of officers due to the failure to follow proper protocols, officers covering their names and shield, officers wearing protective equipment that did not belong to them, the lack of proper use of body-worn cameras, as well as incomplete and severely delayed paperwork,” the agency wrote in the report.
PBA police union president Patrick Lynch responded to the report on Friday.
“Despite CCRB’s attempts to substantiate cases on the flimsiest of evidence, the vast majority of complaints they investigate don’t result in a finding of misconduct. Meanwhile, almost none of the violent agitators who injured nearly 400 police officers during the protests have been identified or held accountable,” he said in a statement to PIX11 News.
The CCRB further stated that New Yorkers have waited a long time for resolutions to these complaints, and it hopes it goes a long way toward repairing some of the issues between police and the communities they serve.
A separate investigation and report by the state attorney general’s office called for the removal of unilateral power from the NYPD commissioner in the wake of the violent clashes between police and protesters, among several other recommendations.
The NYPD released a statement on Friday saying the department would move forward with cases that were recommended for a departmental trial:
“Police officers are entitled to due process and may choose to go forward with an administrative trial where evidence must be presented and may be challenged. These trials are open to the public. Any discipline that results in a finding of guilt or a plea of guilty in an NYPD administrative trial will be made public in the NYPD’s online discipline database and the penalty imposed will be based on a disciplinary matrix that was developed by the Department with significant input from the CCRB, other oversight entities, and the public,” an NYPD spokesperson said in the statement. “It has been mutually agreed by both NYPD and the CCRB that this matrix will serve as a framework for police officer discipline. The NYPD has made significant strides and continues to work toward making our discipline processes transparent. Like any citizen, police officers should be afforded a presumption of innocence until and unless proven guilty.”