NEW YORK – Today, a New York court ruled that the independent city agency to investigate civilian complaints of misconduct by the NYPD, the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), could lawfully investigate complaints of sexual harassment.
Last year after the CCRB announced that it would begin to investigate sexual misconduct complaints, the city’s largest police union, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), filed a lawsuit challenging the CCRB’s sexual misconduct resolution. The challenge sought to keep investigations of sexual abuse allegations under the control of the NYPD and out of the public eye, arguing that police misconduct was not an “abuse of authority.” The New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Women’s Rights Project filed an amicus brief supporting the CCRB against the PBA’s challenge.
In response to today’s decision, the New York Civil Liberties Union released the following statement from Executive Director Donna Lieberman:
“We know what happens when the police are left to police themselves. Today’s ruling affirms that sexual abuse is a grave form of police misconduct and should be reviewed by the CCRB to help ensure that investigations are transparent and fair. Survivors of sexual harassment have been silenced for far too long but today’s decision is a welcome first-step toward increased police accountability.”