The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for unlawfully denying the NYCLU’s requests for the full slate of NYPD databases related to police misconduct authorized to be disclosed following the repeal of 50-a.
The NYPD initially published a very narrow set of final NYPD-substantiated internal disciplinary decisions on their website in March 2021. These records only cover substantiated misconduct that proceeded through an internal administrative trial—records that only cover a small portion of misconduct complaints and disciplinary records held by the NYPD. Following publication, the NYCLU submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request seeking every database containing records on officers who have faced any allegations of misconduct, regardless of whether they proceeded to investigatory or trial phases. Specifically, this request sought NYPD disciplinary records resulting in internal officer discipline and complaints that did not.
The NYCLU’s NYPD Misconduct Database contains information about more than 279,600 misconduct complaints dating back to the 1980s. The NYCLU obtained these records via FOIL from the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the independent agency that investigates complaints about police abuse of civilians. The NYCLU is now seeking database records of misconduct allegations that were not subject to CCRB scrutiny, including records showing whether the allegations were investigated and any resulting NYPD disciplinary action. This includes complaints that until recently were not under CCRB jurisdiction, such as complaints of sexual misconduct and racial profiling.