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Sun Jul 26, 2020, 12:07 PM

Thousands of Police Discipline Records That New York Kept Secret for Decades - ProPublica

This will cause some major waves.
https://www.propublica.org/article/nypd-civilian-complaint-review-board-editors-note

ProPublica obtained these police records from New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. NYPD unions are suing to halt the city from making the data public.

Until last month, New York state prohibited the release of police officers’ disciplinary records. Civilians’ complaints of abuse by officers were a secret. So were investigators’ conclusions. The public couldn’t even know if an officer was punished.

The New York City police officer whose use of a prohibited chokehold led to the death of Eric Garner in 2014 had a record of misconduct. Garner’s last words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The city investigator who revealed the existence of the officer’s record was forced to resign in 2017; the officer himself wasn’t fired until 2019.

When the death of George Floyd and footage of his pleas for his life ignited worldwide protests, activists in New York renewed their push to repeal the statute that kept disciplinary records under wraps, known as 50-a. State lawmakers finally acted, voting to repeal the provision, which had been on the books for decades.

Soon after, ProPublica asked New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB, for a list of officers, along with the complaints against them, and what discipline, if any, had been recommended.

Today, we are making this information public and, with it, providing an unprecedented picture of civilians’ complaints of abuse by NYPD officers as well as the limits of the current system that is supposed to hold officers accountable. We’ve published a database that lets you search the police complaints so you can see the information for yourself. Data experts can also download the data.


I expect many will download the data to keep it safe since the powerful unions may prevail in their attempts to stop distribution.

I hope this opens up all the rest of the police departments to transparency.

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