|Contact:||Sunny Mindel/Michael Anton 212/788-2958|
"Once again the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has embarrassed itself by releasing a politicized report that bears no relation to reality.
"This is, New Yorkers should remember, the same Commission that-in violation of federal law and its own rules-leaked an earlier draft of the report to the press before even holding a final vote on whether it should be released. And it's the same Commission that forced two of its own members to file a Freedom of Information Act request just to get a transcript of the Commission's May 1999 hearing.
"New Yorkers should also remember that the Commission originally came to New York supposedly to study NYPD practices in light of the Amadou Diallo shooting. It held only one hearing, conducted over the course of a single day. In the 13 months since, the four officers were acquitted by a racially-mixed jury, and the use of force by NYPD officers declined for the sixth straight year to its lowest level in decades-calling into question, to say the least, the point of the Commission's report.
"Finally, Commission Chair Mary Frances Berry vowed that New York City was to be the Commission's first stop on a nationwide tour to look at police practices. But in fact the Commission has not visited or investigated a single other city-despite the fact that the police departments of many other cities have restraint records that are not nearly as good as the NYPD's."