For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jen Nessel, Center for Constitutional Rights, (212) 614-6449, jnessel@ccrjustice.org

Independent Investigation by Inspector General Slams NYPD for Continued Biased Policing Six Years After Stop-and-Frisk Trial

Report on Biased Policing Recommends CCRB Take Over Investigation of Racial Profiling Complaints

WASHINGTON - In response to a scathing report on biased policing released today by the Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the landmark NYPD stop-and-frisk case, Floyd v. City of New York, issued the following statement:

Today’s damning report by an independent government agency makes it crystal clear the NYPD cannot be trusted to police itself.

 Nearly six years ago, a federal judge ruled the department’s stop-and-frisk practices were racially discriminatory and placed it under a federal monitorship, but despite NYPD and other city officials’ repeated claims that this is a new era for policing in New York City, the same problems persist. The NYPD may have issued a new written policy prohibiting racial profiling and is sending its officers to a one-off implicit bias training, but, as this report shows, these limited reforms by themselves cannot fix what is clearly an entrenched problem within the department. One need look no further than the NYPD’s handling of the more than 2,600 racial profiling complaints that members of the public have made against its officers in the past four years for a perfect illustration of the problem: NYPD internal investigators found ALL of these complaints to be “unsubstantiated,” an unthinkable result given all the recent high-profile incidents of officers violating the rights of New Yorkers of color.

We wholeheartedly support the inspector general’s recommendation that the CCRB take over the investigation of racial profiling complaints. And, unless and until NYPD fundamentally changes how it polices and deals with racial bias within its ranks, independent federal oversight of the department must continue.

Today’s report comes nearly six years after the landmark Floyd ruling, in which a federal judge found that the NYPD had engaged in a widespread practice of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stops and frisks. The judge ordered a series of immediate reforms and a collaborative, joint remedial process to develop a second set of reforms involving directly affected communities, to bring the NYPD into compliance with the Constitution.  

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Since that ruling, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau and Borough Investigation Units have assumed responsibility for investigating all civilian complaints of racial profiling even while other government agencies that are independent of the NYPD handle all other civilian complaints of mistreatment by NYPD officers. To date, as documented by the court-appointed monitor, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau has not substantiated a single racial profiling allegation.

The agency that released today’s report, the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD), is an independent body that provides the public with a view into internal NYPD departmental policies and practices through objective investigations, studies, and reports.

Today’s report was issued following years of advocacy by the Center for Constitutional Rights, Communities United for Police Reform, and other groups.

Read the OIG-NYPD report here.

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The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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