NEW YORK — Dozens of NYPD officers should be disciplined for their acts during the Black Lives Matter protests after George Floyd’s death, the police department’s oversight agency ruled Monday.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board recommended the highest level of discipline against 37 officers and less severe discipline against another 28 officers. More officers could be guilty, but the CCRB was unable to investigate more than a third of complaints because they couldn’t identify the officers; many failed to follow protocol during the protests and covered their names and shields.
“After fully investigating over a hundred cases, the CCRB continues its commitment to investigating, and when necessary, prosecuting the officers responsible for committing misconduct against New Yorkers during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests,” CCRB Chair Fred Davie said. “The APU is prepared to move forward with trials for the 37 officers who have received the highest level of disciplinary recommendations, as soon as the NYPD serves officers.”
After the protests, people said they’d suffered broken arms, a fractured eye socket, a concussion, nerve damage and deep lacerations because of the actions of NYPD officers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio defended officers during the protests.
An NYPD spokesperson said the department had worked with the CCRB on their investigation and would work with the CCRB on adjudicating the cases.
“The NYPD has made significant strides and continues to work toward making our discipline processes transparent,” the spokesperson said. “Like any citizen, police officers should be afforded a presumption of innocence until and unless proven guilty.”
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch slammed the CCRB report.
“Once again, CCRB is carrying political water for Mayor de Blasio and others who are trying to wash away their own failures during last summer’s protests,” Lynch said. “Police officers were sent out with no plan, no strategy and no support, into a dangerous environment created by politicians’ irresponsible rhetoric. As a result, dozens of cops were injured, and now dozens more are being made into scapegoats. It’s time for the NYPD to stop allowing CCRB to use its disciplinary process as a political tool.”
Responding to Lynch’s statement, CCRB Chairman Fred Davie told PIX11 News, “The CCRB is not a political tool. The CCRB is a serious, independent disciplinary agency of the NYPD.”
When asked why the investigation took long, Davie said there were a lot of matters they had to look into, including multiple reports for the same incident. He also said there were several situations where they could not identify officers as their shields were covered, they used another officer’s equipment or body cameras were had issues.
“We want to be as thorough as we possibly can,” Davie said.