Contact: Hilary Lyons 914-874-6815

Statement: NYPD’s “Discipline Matrix” Protects Cops Who Kill, Brutalize And Sexually Harass Ignores Concerns Raised By Constance Malcolm, Kadiatou Diallo, Iris Baez And Other Families And Human Rights Groups In Public Comment Period

Yesterday, the City published an updated NYPD disciplinary guide, months after a public comment period ended, on the initial draft introduced last year. In September of 2020, families of New Yorkers killed by NYPD and close to 70 organizations joined Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson and NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea collectively rejecting the draft guidelines as “illegitimate and dangerous” and outlining changes that should be made. Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) released the following statement on the new NYPD discipline guide from spokesperson, Kesi Foster:

“Instead of turning a new leaf in 2021 and addressing long-standing concerns about the City’s refusal to fire officers who kill, brutalize, sexually harass and enact other violence, Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD continue to push a fairytale around NYPD discipline,” said Kesi Foster, (he/him), spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “The discipline matrix is already a discretionary tool that the Police Commissioner can deviate from at any time. While Mayor de Blasio may want to claim that it’s a systemic reform, it’s more like the definition of a paper reform. The new guidelines empower and embolden a spectrum of police violence against New Yorkers, especially Black, Latinx and other New Yorkers of color whose feedback was blatantly ignored in these guidelines."

“The new guidelines continue to make clear that the NYPD will protect and shield officers who use deadly force without cause, engage in regular use of excessive force, break the law or violate policy, facilitate cover-ups, and other routine police violence. Many of them will continue to keep their jobs, funded by New York City taxpayers, and many will never see a discipline trial. Instead of ensuring firing of officers who engage in police violence, the guidelines codify loopholes that will allow more officers to escape consequences and retire with full benefits.

“Many of the ‘presumptive penalties’ for egregious actions are slaps on the wrist that insult New Yorkers and incentivize police violence, making clear that officers won’t be fired but might have some vacation days docked for lying in official statements; withholding medical attention; unwanted sexual advances and propositions; unauthorized strips searches; refusing to comply with Right to Know laws; retaliation against New Yorkers for filing complaints; obstructing investigations; and other acts that harm New Yorkers.

“Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD are counting on the opaqueness and complexities of the NYPD’s discipline system to obscure that their guidelines provide cover and protect cops who kill, brutalize, sexually harass and lie in official capacity. They're using this procedural cosmetic reform to deflect from their refusal to fire police who brutalized New Yorkers during recent protests, those who unjustifiably killed Delrawn Small, Kawaski Trawick, Antonio Williams, and those who have still not been fired for their roles in killing and covering up misconduct related to Eric Garner. While these officers remain on the force, the Mayor and NYPD have no credibility and are making clear that this is a fake reform and public relations move."

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.