Disciplinary records of New York City police officers are now a matter of public record.
The long-anticipated database containing disciplinary records for NYPD officers finally went live Monday and promptly folded under the crushing interest of thousands of personnel requests.
“Outside of it crashing today, because everybody hit it at once,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller.
The database is a victory for criminal justice advocates, who for years sought more transparency from the country’s largest police department.
For its part, the NYPD is touting the release of officer disciplinary records as a welcomed step in the right direction.
But there is still concern the database does not go far enough; critics say officials are keeping the vast majority of misconduct hidden.
For example, take the case of NYPD officer Vincent D’Andraia, who was caught on video last summer, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, pushing a female protester to the ground in Brooklyn.
D’Andraia was subsequently charged criminally, and suspended from the force for his actions.
But if you search his name in the new NYPD database and click the Disciplinary History tab, nothing shows up.
“I think people have a right to know what is in these files of these police officers,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. ” The [D’Andraisa case] is, I’m sure, of hundreds that are not there. We keep saying that the police department can’t police itself and can’t police his own information.”
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Rev. Kevin McCall, of the Crisis Action Center, said the NYPD can do better.
“They just released part of it,” he said. “Why not release all of it?”
He said it erodes trust with the community.
“If you wanna be able to have a transparent conversation, and you’re saying trust, courtesy, professionalism and respect? This is disrespect to the highest limit,” he said.
Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, echoed concerns that key information is missing.
“They’re giving us a tiny sliver of the disciplinary information while implying they’re giving us all of it. This database leaves out any discipline at the command or borough level, which is the lion’s share of the discipline that gets handed out in the NYPD. So that’s not being honest or transparent,” said Lieberman.
In response, an NYPD spokesperson defended the new database, adding there is no other New York City agency that provides “this breadth or depth of information on their employees accessible to the public.”
The spokesperson added, “It should also be noted that the NYPD dashboard links to outside agencies including the CCRB and the city’s Law Department where information outside the scope of what the police department provides can be accessed.”