Back to All Press Release

Massive Backlog Of Police Misconduct Cases Prompts Call For Investigation

Upon learning of that the Civilian Complaint Review Board ran up a backlog of over 800 police misconduct cases and then disposed of them all in one day, the New York Civil Liberties Union has called for an investigation of the CCRB, the city agency that investigates complaints of police misconduct.

In a letter sent to the CCRB late last week the NYCLU disclosed it had obtained internal CCRB documents revealing that an agency review panel had not met for six months between April and October 2005, running up a backlog of 800 police misconduct cases. Then in one day that three-person panel disposed of the approximately 812 cases, which constituted over 12% of all the cases the agency reviewed for all of 2005.

“It seems virtually impossible that over 800 cases could be meaningfully reviewed in one day,” said Donna Lieberman, NYCLU Executive Director.

In the letter, Lieberman and NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn note that the six-month delay made it likely officers were shielded from discipline because, by law, any discipline must be imposed within 18 months of an incident.

The letter calls upon the CCRB to investigate the backlog, to institute public reporting about pending cases and to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent future backlogs. Nearly 1500 cases were pending before CCRB panels as of last week.

“To curb police misconduct and to maintain public faith in police oversight, it is essential that the CCRB complete its investigations promptly,” Dunn said. “With police misconduct complaints up nearly 50% since 2002, the City must have the resources and accountability in place to assure that the CCRB is not overwhelmed.”

Click here to read the NYCLU’s letter. (Requires the free Adobe Reader.)

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union