An NYPD watchdog has found that 104 officers were guilty of misconduct during Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) oversight agency released the report on Tuesday, almost two years after the protests prompted by the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May 2020.
The ensuing protests led to the NYPD coming out in force, with interactions between protesters and officers turning violent on several occasions.
The CCRB was given the task of looking into more than 300 complaints against officers stemming from the demonstrations.
The agency verified 65 complaints that included 187 allegations against 104 officers. The CCRB recommended that charges, the highest level of punishment, be filed against 61 of the officers, meaning they could face a departmental trial.
The board also suggested that 18 officers receive Command Discipline B, and that 25 officers receive Command Discipline A.
“Command Disciplines are recommended for misconduct that is more problematic than poor training but does not rise to the level of charges. An officer can lose up to 10 vacation days as a result of a Command Discipline,” the CCRB website states.
Out of the 24 cases that have been completed, 10 officers have been disciplined, PIX11 reported.
The report also indicated that a third of the complaints couldn’t be thoroughly investigated because the officer remained unidentifiable, often because they concealed identifying markers on their uniforms.
“The CCRB has seen unprecedented challenges in investigating these complaints, particularly around the identification of officers due to the failure to follow proper protocols, officers covering their names and shield, officers wearing protective equipment that did not belong to them, the lack of proper use of body-worn cameras, as well as incomplete and severely delayed paperwork,” the report stated.
PBA police union president Patrick Lynch told PIX11 on Friday that “despite CCRB’s attempts to substantiate cases on the flimsiest of evidence, the vast majority of complaints they investigate don’t result in a finding of misconduct. Meanwhile, almost none of the violent agitators who injured nearly 400 police officers during the protests have been identified or held accountable.”
Another investigation by the office of the New York Attorney General recommended that the unilateral power of the NYPD commissioner be removed, the local outlet reported.
“Police officers are entitled to due process and may choose to go forward with an administrative trial where evidence must be presented and may be challenged,” an NYPD spokesperson said on Friday. “These trials are open to the public.”
“Any discipline that results in a finding of guilt or a plea of guilty in an NYPD administrative trial will be made public in the NYPD’s online discipline database and the penalty imposed will be based on a disciplinary matrix that was developed by the Department with significant input from the CCRB, other oversight entities, and the public,” the agency added.
“It has been mutually agreed by both NYPD and the CCRB that this matrix will serve as a framework for police officer discipline,” it said. “The NYPD has made significant strides and continues to work toward making our discipline processes transparent. Like any citizen, police officers should be afforded a presumption of innocence until and unless proven guilty.”