CPR Statement: NYPD Commissioner Sewell’s New Rule Change Impedes Accountability, Safety
NEW YORK- Yesterday, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell announced plans to change the NYPD’s disciplinary guidelines to reduce penalties on officers. She also shared that she had reduced or dismissed penalties against NYPD officers in 72 cases that were recommended by judges and the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Below is a statement from Communities United for Police Reform spokesperson and Justice Committee Families and Cases Organizer Danny Kim (he/him):
“Commissioner Sewell’s plan to reduce disciplinary penalties for officers who engage in misconduct perpetuates a harmful, entrenched culture and structure of NYPD impunity. Her plan sends a dangerous signal to officers that they will not face meaningful accountability for misconduct or abuse, and seeks to weaken an already severely inadequate NYPD disciplinary process.
“Furthermore, Commissioner Sewell’s plan to reduce discipline in relation to officer violations of the Right To Know Act undermines protections put into law specifically to ensure the safety of New Yorkers during police encounters. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of New Yorkers from across all boroughs fought for the passage of the Right to Know Act to minimize police abuse during the NYPD's most common interactions with New Yorkers and because we know that NYPD accountability is essential to ensuring community safety.
“Commissioner Sewell and Mayor Adams continue to move in the opposite direction of what our city and communities need to build meaningful and lasting safety, including ending NYPD abuse and violence. They should be taking steps to strengthen NYPD oversight and accountability, not weaken it. They should be upholding laws that center the safety of our communities during police interactions, not finding loopholes or watering down disciplinary guidelines to protect abusive officers who engage in misconduct. This latest plan by Commissioner Sewell is unacceptable and dangerous for all New Yorkers; Mayor Adams must stop the implementation of any proposed changes to weaken NYPD discipline if he is serious about prioritizing community safety.”
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York, and to build a lasting movement that promotes public safety and reduces reliance on policing. CPR runs coalitions of over 200 local, statewide and national organizations, bringing together a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to work for change. The partners in this campaign come from all 5 boroughs, from all walks of life and represent many of those most unfairly targeted by the NYPD.