“New Yorkers’ rights to publicly protest are essential to a functioning democracy and must be protected. Today’s CCRB report about widespread abuses and misconduct by NYPD officers during the 2020 protests demonstrates that the City’s police department fell short of this responsibility. While administrative charges have been brought against dozens of officers and some have received command discipline, there are several outstanding proceedings in which officers should be held accountable. It is also critical that the department also be held responsible for its shortcomings in managing deployment and ensuring accountable and transparent policies to protect New Yorkers’ rights and safety. Basic standards of conduct were absent for these protests, including failures to appropriately use Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) and request adequate EMT support, as well as officers improperly concealing their badge numbers and names.
“The CCRB’s report outlines misconduct and obstruction with investigatory efforts that must be addressed. Independent investigatory bodies need to have better access to body camera footage and compliance from the NYPD to investigate civilian complaints. The CCRB must play a vital role in police accountability that ensures public trust, and this will also require resolution of the agency’s understaffing. The Council will continue reviewing the report and consider legislative policy changes to help prevent these same issues from occurring in the future.”