Data Transparency Initiative

Allegations

 

Under the New York City Charter, the CCRB has jurisdiction to investigate the following categories of police misconduct: Force, Abuse of Authority, Discourtesy, and Offensive Language, collectively known as "FADO". A complaint can contain more than one allegation, such as excessive force and discourteous language. Once an investigation is completed, the Board panel reviews each separate allegation during an investigation and makes a finding on whether misconduct occurred, as well as a recommendation on what level of penalty should follow. The Board of the CCRB has 13 members, five are chosen by the Mayor, five are chosen by the City Council, and three are chosen by the Police Commissioner. Each Board panel is intended to be composed of three members from each group.  There are five general outcomes for a case that is fully investigated and reviewed:

Dispositions of Fully Investigated Allegations

  • An allegation is substantiated if misconduct is found to be improper based on a preponderance of the evidence.
  • An allegation is unsubstantiated if there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not misconduct occurred.
  • An allegation is unfounded if a preponderance of the evidence suggests that the event or alleged act did not occur.
  • An allegation is exonerated if the event did occur but was not improper by a preponderance of the evidence.
  • The case is closed as officer unidentified if the CCRB was unable to identify any of the officers accused of misconduct.
Additionally, a complaint can be mediated if all parties consent. The NYPD officer and complainant/victim or alleged victim discuss the incident in the presence of a neutral third-party moderator.

Finally, a complaint or allegation that cannot be fully investigated can be classified as truncated. A truncated allegation can result in four general outcomes:

Disposition of Truncated Allegations

  • An allegation is closed as complaint withdrawn when the complainant voluntarily withdraws the complaint.
  • An allegation is closed as complainant/victim/witness unavailable when the complainant, victim and/or witness cannot be located after multiple and varied attempts (This also includes complaints in which the complainant is incarcerated and the attorney advises no contact).
  • An allegation is closed as complainant/victim/witness uncooperative when the participation of the complainant, victim and/or witness is insufficient to enable the board to conduct a full investigation.
  • An allegation is closed as victim unidentified when the board is unable to identify the victim.

The Data Transparency Initiative only shows data within CCRB jurisdiction.


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    Allegations Received
    Allegation Type
    Allegations by FADO
    Allegation Disposition
    Allegations by Force
    Allegations by Abuse of Authority
    Allegations by Discourtesy
    Allegations by Offensive Language


    How many allegations has the CCRB received over time?

    From 2006 to 2016, the number of reported allegations of misconduct received by the CCRB increased from just under 13,000 in 2015 to just over 14,000 in 2016.

    Note: in 2015, the CCRB changed how allegations were plead to include an allegation of misconduct being investigated for every person that may have been impacted. For example, if an officer allegedly made a discourteous statement, every person who heard the statement would count as an allegation of misconduct.
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    What type of allegations does the CCRB receive?

    Abuse of authority has been the most common allegation received by the CCRB, and has comprised around half of the allegations received each year.

    Note: A complaint can contain more than one allegation.

    Force: Refers to the use of excessive or unnecessary force; behavior that includes punching or shoving and up to and including the use of deadly force. 
    Abuse of Authority:  Refers to abuse of police powers to intimidate or mistreat a civilian; for example, an officer’s refusal to provide name and badge number, or an improper “stop, question and frisk.” 
    Discourtesy:  Refers to cursing and using other foul language or gestures.
    Offensive Language:  Refers to slurs and derogatory remarks or gestures based upon race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical disability.

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    How many force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and offensive language allegations has the CCRB fully investigated?

    From 2006 through 2016, the CCRB fully investigated over 196,000 allegations of misconduct in the 77 precincts that represent the five boroughs of New York City.

    Note: Data is not available to download due to individual level information.

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    What is the disposition of fully investigated allegations?

    Exonerated allegations were the leading Board disposition in 2006 and 2007. Since 2008, unsubstantiated allegations have been the leading disposition. In 2016, over 10% of the fully investigated allegations were substnatiated.

    Note: Each allegation is reviewed separately during an investigation and generally receives one of five outcomes:

    • An allegation is substantiated if misconduct is found to be improper based on the preponderance of the evidence.
    • An allegation is unsubstantiated if there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not misconduct occurred.
    • An allegation is unfounded if the preponderance of the evidence suggests that the event or alleged act did not occur.
    • An allegation is exonerated if the event did occur but was not improper by a preponderance of evidence.
    • The case is closed as officer unidentified if the CCRB was unable to identify any of the officers accused of misconduct.


    If the CCRB was unable to identify any of the officers accused of misconduct, the case is closed as officer unidentified. This allegation disposition was not used in the scope of analysis.

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    What types of force allegations have the CCRB received over time?

    Allegations of physical force have been received at least six times more than any other type of force allegations each year.

    Note: 1) The allegation "Physical force" includes punched, kicked, kneed, dragged, pulled, bit, slapped, pushed, shoved, threw, and fought. 2) Tasers are classified under "nonlethal restraining device".

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    What types of abuse of authority allegations have the CCRB received over time?

    From 2006 through 2016, around 25% of abuse of authority allegations were either stop or search of person. Since 2008, allegations of premises entered and/or searched have increased each year.

    Note: 1) The allegation "Question and/or stop" became inactive in 2008, and was later replaced with separate allegations for "question" and "stop". 2) The allegation "Premise searched" became inactive in 1999, and was later replaced with "Premises entered and/or searched".

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    What types of discourtesy allegations have the CCRB received over time?

    A discourteous word has been the alleged offense in around 90% of discourtesy allegations received each year.

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    What types of offensive language allegations have the CCRB received over time?

    Each year from 2006 to 2014, over half of incidents involving offensive language have pertained to race. Offensive language pertaining to gender has increased over time, comprising over 20% of alleged incident in 2016.

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    Download the record-level dataset containing information about all complaints and allegations closed since 2006.

    Feedback on the Data Transparency Initiative is welcome.