STATEMENT: CPR Responds to Overdue Dept of Investigation Report into NYPD Conduct During Summer Protests
Today, the New York City Department of Investigation released a 100+ page report on the conduct of the NYPD during the protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd earlier this year. The report, which comes almost four months later than Mayor de Blasio originally promised, concludes that the NYPD mismanaged their response to the protests, used excessive force, prioritized “disorder control” rather than facilitating First Amendment rights of New Yorkers, and escalated situations and tensions between members of the public and the police. In response to the report, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) spokesperson Anthonine Pierre issued the following statement:
“This 4-month overdue report reaffirms what New Yorkers already knew: the NYPD’s response to protests in defense of Black lives this summer was violent and brutal, illegally suppressed First Amendment rights, forced New Yorkers into dangerous situations created and escalated by police, and that police acted with impunity for acts including excessive use of force and hiding badge numbers so they couldn’t be identified. While the report is helpful in reaffirming what we’ve known with respect to the NYPD’s violent role policing protests, the recommendations are problematic, and the omissions are troubling. Creating a new “protest response unit” within the NYPD will continue to criminalize First Amendment activities and more training as a solution has historically failed to produce needed changes. While the report notes that failure to discipline officers is an issue, there are no recommendations related to disciplining officers or higher-ups in the NYPD for the violence against New Yorkers and the violation of their rights—which raises deep concerns about the independence of the report and the validity of other recommendations. In addition, Mayor de Blasio’s role and the role of the Mayor’s Press Office in amplifying and giving credibility to the NYPD’s false justifications for violence against protesters this summer, should have been condemned as part of any investigation of the NYPD and City’s response.
“Earlier this year, New Yorkers shared hundreds of accounts of police violence as all eyes watched violent tactics being used against protestors attempting to exercise their First Amendment rights. It took this report for the Mayor to admit some wrongdoing, but the report alone won’t change anything. We demand real action by the City and elected officials to support firing of officers and top NYPD officials who facilitated violence against New Yorkers during the protests, and work with communities to substantially decrease the NYPD’s outsized budget and role in our lives,” said Anthonine Pierre, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) spokesperson.
About Communities United for Police Reform
Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is an unprecedented campaign to end abusive and 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.