CPR Statement on Release of 300,000+ Complaints about NYPD Officers
New York, NY – Today, the Second Circuit Court lifted the stay that was preventing the New York Civil Liberties Union from publishing its database of NYPD officer misconduct records that it obtained from the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the independent agency that investigates certain complaints about police abuse of civilians. The database is now live here, and it contains information about more than 300,000 misconduct complaints that were investigated by the CCRB dating back to before 1985.
“We are glad to hear that our partners at the New York Civil Liberties Union have been able to publish this important information,” Monifa Bandele of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) said. “Releasing this database was enabled by the New York State Legislature’s repeal of New York’s infamous police secrecy law, ‘50-a,’ and is an important step toward greater transparency. We remain committed to challenging the dangerous stronghold police unions have over New York City politics as we fight to protect the 50-a repeal. We hope the district court dismisses the police unions’ baseless request for a preliminary injunction that would block New York City government from publishing comprehensive officer misconduct information – including information about misconduct complaints like racial and gender profiling – that were investigated by the NYPD and that are not part of records in the important database published by the NYCLU today.”
The NYCLU database contains information about 323,911 complaints about 81,550 different officers. Only 8,699 complaints led to an NYPD penalty. 19,833 officers were named in five or more complaints, however, only 12 officers were terminated or dismissed by the NYPD, according to the dataset. 20,826 of the complaints were substantiated by the CCRB.
Review the NYCLU database.
In June 2020, the state legislature voted to repeal Section 50-a of the Civil Rights Law, the decades-old statute that police departments used to hide police misconduct and discipline information from the public. Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) led the statewide coalition and campaign that won #Repeal50a.
In July, CPR, represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit brought by five New York City police unions, as well as corrections and firefighter unions, earlier in the month. The police unions seek to block New York City (NYC) from publishing databases of officer misconduct and discipline information and to roll back the repeal of 50-a. A hearing on the police unions’ preliminary injunction request was held on Tuesday, August 18, for which CPR filed opposition papers. A decision on the police unions’ federal lawsuit requesting a preliminary injunction is expected from the federal district court judge on Friday, August 21.
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.Topics: Repeal 50-A