Important ballot proposals that affect police accountability in New York are up for a vote. Learn more about the proposals in Ballot Question #2 at charter2019.nyc/ccrb and read below to find out #WhatsTrueOn2.
Myth: Ballot Question #2 would give the CCRB “sweeping new powers.” [Source]
Fact: Ballot Question #2 really would provide the CCRB with just one new power: the authority to investigate and prosecute when a member of the NYPD has made a false claim before CCRB staff about the incident under investigation during a CCRB investigation. Another ballot proposal would authorize the Board to delegate standing subpoena power to the Executive Director, making the process more efficient. The Board already has the authority to subpoena evidence.
Myth: Ballot Question #2 would “drastically” increase the CCRB’s budget. [Source]
Fact: Ballot Question #2 would guarantee a staff headcount ratio equal to 0.65% of the number of uniformed officers in the NYPD. The current ratio for this year is 0.59%.
Myth: Ballot Question #2 would “reduce the authority of the Police Commissioner.” [Source]
Fact: The Police Commissioner would maintain the same level of authority over discipline, but the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau would no longer be solely responsible for investigating false official statements made by officers during a CCRB investigation. Other New York State and City laws make the Police Commissioner the final arbiter of all disciplinary decisions for the NYPD.
Myth: The CCRB harbors “rampant anti-police bias.” [Source]
Fact: The CCRB is an independent, all-civilian oversight agency that conducts fact-based investigations of police misconduct. Per the CCRB rules, a Board Member designated by the Police Commissioner must be present on each three-person panel that decides various cases.
Myth: The CCRB is an “outrageously dysfunctional agency that is viewed as a ‘kangaroo court’ by both cops & complainants.” [Source]
Fact: According to the 2019 Mayor’s Management Report, the CCRB received 5,236 complaints this fiscal year, an increase of roughly 20% since 2018, and has seen a 5-year trend of more allegations closed with findings on the merits. The CCRB has also seen a 5-year increase in the number of cases successfully mediated. Additionally, the rate at which the Board recommended some type of discipline, but no discipline was imposed by the Police Commissioner has decreased since 2017, and the rate at which the Board and Police Commissioner agreed on discipline has increased.
As the CCRB continues to strengthen its outreach efforts, and more New Yorkers learn how to report alleged police misconduct, more civilians may come to the agency with complaints and trust the CCRB to fully investigate. Additionally, the advent of body-worn cameras has dramatically improved the CCRB’s ability to fully investigate allegations of police misconduct.
Myth: “Political extremists and cop-haters have been attacking NYC police officers in the streets for years. Now, they're doing it at the ballot box.” [Source]
Fact: The Charter Commission, which ultimately decided what would and wouldn’t be on the ballot this year, was comprised of 15 members of varying backgrounds and degrees of support for police oversight. The Charter Commission Members were appointed by elected officials including the Mayor, Borough Presidents, and City Council Speaker.
Myth: “By encouraging their clients to file false & frivolous CCRB complaints, [“criminal advocates”] can sidetrack court cases and get guilty gang members, drug dealers & thieves out of jail. You are seeing the results on your streets.” [Source]
Fact: The CCRB only substantiates misconduct when it has evidence that the allegations reported by a civilian are against either the law or the protocols set forth in the NYPD Patrol Guide. When the Board determines that an incident reported by a complainant did not occur, it closes the case as “unfounded.” Of the allegations closed in 2018, 463, or 8% of total allegations, were unfounded. In the past decade, only 52 complainants have ever been found by the Agency to have made repeated unfounded complaints against officers.
Download the CCRB's "Ballot Question 2: #YouCanVoteOnThat" Twitter header.