Since 2014, NYPD Hasn’t Substantiated a Single Bias Complaint
A report released by the Office of the Inspector General for the New York Police Department (OIG-NYPD) answered so many questions that by the time I finished reading it, I couldn’t but question raison d’etre for OIG-NYPD. But hyperbole aside, sure it has a place but let’s get to the brass tacks of their findings.
In 2014, when the category of ” “Racial Profiling and Bias-Based Policing” was created, New Yorkers have filed around 2500 complaints alleging biased police action. The complaints include both, ones against the uniformed officers and non-uniformed personnel. NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) in their investigations of all those cases have not substantiated a single case of police bias, racial discrimination or sexual misconduct.
The report quantifies that around 70% of all biased policing reports “contained allegations of discriminatory policing based on race, ethnicity, color, or national origin.”OIG-NYPD REPORT ON COMPLAINTS OF BIASED POLICING IN NEW YORK CITY
The OIG-NYPD report furthers the conclusion reached by an independent panel earlier this year stating that there is a “fundamental and pervasive lack of transparency into the [NYPD’s] disciplinary process and about disciplinary outcomes.” While the report concedes allegations of bias are hard to prove but falls short of suggesting any tangible measures to cure the procedural flaws in NYPD’s accountability system.
NYPD does not investigate reports of bias based on racial slurs only unless any further action e.g. an arrest or use force is attached to it.OIG-NYPD REPORT ON COMPLAINTS OF BIASED POLICING IN NEW YORK CITY
The report clarifies that NYPD does not investigate reports of bias based on racial slurs only unless any further action e.g. an arrest or use force is attached to it. It suggests that the quality of these investigations could be improved by removing such systematic deficiencies in the investigative process. Also, keeping in view, the report quantifies that around 70% of all biased policing reports “contained allegations of discriminatory policing based on race, ethnicity, color, or national origin.”
The inspector general recommended that racial slurs and derogatory language should be treated as biased policing in NYPD’s investigations, also requiring officers to report incidents of such bias while improving on the written protocols for investigations.
Following the backlash over “Stop-and-Frisk”, the NYPD had added the category of “Racial Profiling and Bias-Based Policing” in 2014 and is yet to find an instance of biased policing. The NYPD has already changed some of its policies and implemented a few new ones such as “implicit bias training” etc.
The Department also pointed out that the inspector general did not identify a single case that should have been substantiated and wasn’t.NYPD STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE REPORT
NYPD released a statement in response to the report, noting that bias complaints have dropped by a third in the first five months of this year, compared to the last. The Department also pointed out that the inspector general did not identify a single case that should have been substantiated and wasn’t.
“Even with the positive changes already made, and the full context of this report, the NYPD knows there is more to do,” the Department said. “The Department will continue to work with fellow agencies to improve its efforts in line with many of the recommendations contained in the Report.”
I know. I did say hyperbole has its place; I just didn’t think NYPD was going to be it. The Department has continually received feedback, and suggestions to improve its internal investigations processes. Perhaps, it would do better to reflect on the reality in contrast to the unblemished record illustrates.