June 20, 2002

Raymond Kelly
Commissioner, New York City Police Department

Hector Gonzalez
Chairman, Civilian Complaint Review Board

Re: Open Cases of CCRB-Substantiated Police Misconduct

Dear Commissioner Kelly and Chairman Gonzalez,

On behalf of the New York Civil Liberties Union, 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, and the Latino Officers Association, we write to express our concerns about a reported backlog of nearly 140 cases in which the Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated allegations of misconduct against a police officer at least one year ago but in which the NYPD has yet to take final action in the case. This letter follows a meeting yesterday that the NYCLU, 100 Blacks, and LOA had with the CCRB and at which we discussed this matter with Mr. Gonzalez.

According to the monthly CCRB report issued in conjunction with last week’s public CCRB meeting, the NYPD has yet to take final action in cases involving 120 officers in which the CCRB substantiated allegations of misconduct between January 2000 and June 2001. In addition, cases involving another 18 officers reportedly are pending from 1999 and 1998. We enclose the table from the CCRB report that contains these figures.

To the extent these figures are accurate, we are deeply troubled by this situation. It is essential that allegations of police misconduct be resolved in a timely manner, both for civilian complainants and for accused police officers. And it is imperative that, in those cases in which the CCRB finds that misconduct did occur and thus substantiates the complaint and refers the case to the NYPD for further action, that the Department move promptly to discipline the officer or otherwise resolve the matter.

The data reported by the CCRB, however, indicate that a large number of cases that were substantiated by the CCRB at least one year ago remain open at the Department. Long delays in NYPD resolution of CCRB-substantiated cases simply reinforce the perception that the Police Department is not serious about addressing police misconduct. Moreover, we are further troubled by a report we received at yesterday’s meeting that the Police Department has disbanded the unit within the Advocate’s Office that was responsible for prosecuting substantiated cases referred to the NYPD by the CCRB, which may explain the magnitude of the backlog at the Department.

As we stated to Mr. Gonzalez when we met yesterday, we believe it is imperative that the NYPD and CCRB meet promptly to address this situation. We would appreciate your informing us at your earliest convenience of how you intend to respond to our concerns.

Sincerely,

Christopher Dunn
Associate Legal Director
New York Civil Liberties Union

Donna Lieberman
Executive Director
New York Civil Liberties Union

Eric Adams
Co-Founder
100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care

Anthony Miranda
President
Latino Officers Association

cc: George Grasso, NYPD, First Deputy Commissioner
Steven Hammerman, NYPD, Deputy Commissioner, Legal Matters
Florence Finkle, CCRB, Executive Director

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