Complaints against the NYPD have jumped 19% since last year, an increase police brass attribute mostly to transparency.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board has gotten 5,236 complaints in fiscal year 2019, up from 4,392 for the previous fiscal year, according to the Mayor’s Management Report released on Tuesday. NYPD Spokesman Al Baker said cops involved in encounters with the public are required to hand out contact cards that identify themselves and provide information about filing a CCRB complaint, under terms of the Right to Know Act, which took effect in October. That is in addition to the increased number of public outreach events, where complaints could be filed.
The Legal Aid Society said the spike is indicative of a larger problem, police misconduct that leads to lawsuits and pricey payouts.
“These numbers barely scratch the surface of the iceberg of abusive police encounters that we know go unreported and under reported in New York City,” said Cynthia Conti-Cook, of the Special Litigation Unit for The Legal Aid Society. “Until this administration prioritizes real transparency and accountability reforms to deter misconduct, these numbers will continue to stay high and taxpayers will continue to foot the bill.”
Baker said when an officer does break a department rule “those failings are addressed with re-training, re-instruction, and, in appropriate cases, with penalties that include formal disciplinary actions with the punitive loss of workdays as punishment.”