For the first time, CCRB will be able to independently prosecute its substantiated cases within the NYPD’s internal system
City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) Chair Daniel D. Chu today announced an agreement that will bring increased transparency and independence to the review of alleged police misconduct by giving prosecutorial authority to the CCRB. Currently, civilian complaints of police misconduct that are made to Civilian Complaint Review Board are investigated by the board and if substantiated, referred to the NYPD for prosecution.
Today’s announcement follows extensive deliberations between the Council, NYPD and Bloomberg Administration. Council Member Daniel Garodnick introduced legislation calling for giving CCRB prosecutorial authority in 2010.
“This delegation of authority to CCRB will provide significant improvement in police accountability and transparency in the civilian complaint review process. I am certain it will also increase public confidence in the system. The public needs to know that when they file a legitimate, serious complaint it will undergo an appropriate process of review and – if substantiated – prosecution,” stated Speaker Quinn.
Under this agreement, the NYPD and the CCRB will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding under which the CCRB will be granted authority to prosecute substantiated cases of misconduct by police officers. These will include cases of excessive or unnecessary force, abuse of authority, discourtesy or the use of offensive language.
The MOU further provides that, in all cases substantiated by CCRB in which charges and specifications are recommended, CCRB’s Administrative Prosecution Unit (“APU”) is empowered both to prosecute and plea bargain the case.
In very limited circumstances, the Police Commissioner would be able to exercise discretion and stop a case from moving forward, but only with a detailed explanation as to why. Specifically, the Police Commissioner may remove CCRB’s authority to prosecute such cases only where there is an ongoing parallel or criminal investigation against the officer or where the officer has neither a disciplinary record nor any substantiated CCRB complaints.
Additionally, in any substantiated CCRB case where the Police Commissioner intends to impose a lower level of discipline than that recommended by CCRB or a Deputy Commissioner of Trials, the Police Commissioner will be required to provide a detailed explanation of his reasons for doing so.
“Today’s agreement builds on the cooperative relationship between the NYPD and CCRB that began with a successful pilot program in the prosecution of substantiated cases,” Police Commissioner Kelly.