NY Police routinely ignored the disciplinary findings of the independent oversight board
Ashley Southall, Ali Watkins and Blacki Migliozzi reporting for the New York Times:
This pattern of lenient punishment holds true for about 71 percent of the 6,900 misconduct charges over the last two decades in which the agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, recommended the highest level of discipline and a final outcome was recorded, according to an analysis of recently released data by The New York Times.
The citizen review board, put into place in the early 1990’s, has no real power to reign in officers who abuse their authority. It’s clear the NYPD has no interest in policing themselves, so the review board or some other outside agency should be granted that power.
Bill de Blasio campaigned on bringing more accountability to the NYPD back in 2014 but has managed to achieve basically nothing.
As protests swept the city and nation this summer, both Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea urged the public to have confidence in the city’s ability to hold officers accountable. But the data offers further evidence of the challenges that outside oversight agencies face in going up against police forces.
Mr. Shea, who was appointed a year ago, has imposed the board’s recommended penalty in only two of the 28 cases in which charges were brought, records show.
The idea that the people we have entrusted with the power and privilege to maintain our laws should be held to a high standard of accountability should not be controversial, but of course it’s become a weaponized and highly politicized aspect of modern American life. There is some good news — at least 20 police-reform ballot initiatives in places from Los Angeles to Columbus, Ohio were put in front of voters this year and many of them have passed.
A city as big and diverse as New York should be a model of oversight and accountability. Instead, the city appears to be almost uniquely disqualified to protect its citizens.