Call for probe follows false statements made by police unions about Shake Shack

NEW YORK, NY – Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Council’s Oversight & Investigations Committee, today called on the New York Police Department (NYPD), the Department of Investigation (DOI) and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) to investigate whether recent false allegations by the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Detectives’ Endowment Association (DEA) violated City laws and rules, including those that forbid the release of confidential information and making false or deceptive statements or reports. The DEA and PBA falsely accused Shake Shack workers of “intentionally poisoning” officers. 

In a letter to the heads of these oversight agencies, the Speaker and Council Member also called for a probe into whether derogatory public comments made by the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA) about Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot violated rules of conduct requiring discipline. Furthermore, the Council requested that the NYPD reveal the findings of an internal investigation into the President of the SBA’s history of making offensive remarks. This is the first time the Council has asked for officer disciplinary records since the repeal of the New York State law Section 50-A.

“Releasing confidential information is wrong. Making false statements is wrong. And making vile and misogynistic comments about the first Latina Health Commissioner is wrong. These inflammatory actions not only further damage the relationship between police and the public, they violate city rules. We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior from any other City employees and we should not tolerate it from police union leaders. We need to hold them accountable,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.

“The Speaker and I will continue to use our power to direct necessary investigations into the recent actions of the NYPD and police unions, actions that undermine integrity and the trust we place in them. We look forward to reviewing the results of the investigations to determine next steps,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Councils Oversight and Investigations Committee.

Read the letter in full here.