June 26, 2019
"The NYPD understands that constitutional, biased-free policing is foundational to building community trust and keeping New York City even safer. The NYPD is committed to addressing misconduct in any form, and has created comprehensive policies and procedures to prevent, investigate, discipline, and monitor any and all instances of biased policing. Whether enhancing training for officers; outfitting all 22,000 patrol cops with body-worn cameras; or dramatically reducing stop-question-frisk, every change is designed to bring police and community closer together -- and each has been overseen by the Federal Court and its monitor.
"These efforts are producing results: biased policing complaints to IAB are down more than 33.1% year-to-year as of May 31, 2019, and the NYPD has imposed more discipline on the substantiated cases of racial or protected-class slurs than any other major city police department.
"Importantly, the instances cited in the OIG report represent less than .001% of the millions of annual NYPD interactions with the public. At the same time, the period of review of the Report does not capture the effect of all of the reforms the NYPD has implemented since 2014. And while the OIG highlighted a number of bias policing allegations, the OIG itself did not identify a single allegation out of the 888 they reviewed that they believe should have been substantiated on the basis of the available evidence – underscoring the difficulty in proving these allegations.
"Even with the positive changes already made, and the full context of this report, the NYPD knows there is more to do. The Department will continue to work with fellow agencies to improve its efforts in line with many of the recommendations contained in the Report. For example, NYPD will continue to work with CCRB to establish a mediation program for biased policing complaints handled by NYPD.
"The NYPD has initiated a number of significant changes over the past five years to create greater trust, build mutual respect, and strengthen coordination between the police and neighborhoods we serve -- and that essential work continues."
Expanded BWCs: The issuing of Body Worn Cameras to all 22,000 police officers, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants on patrol is transformational. It provides the enhanced ability to supervise generally and to specifically investigate complaints of biased policing. Critically, the period of time covered in the Report predates the full roll-out of Body Worn Cameras.
Increased and Improved Training: Since 2014, the NYPD has established in-depth biased policing-related training modules taught at the Police Academy; has undertaken mandatory day-long, in-service training on implicit bias; has instituted a revised and significantly strengthened written policy covering both biased policing and racial profiling; has instituted an additional day-long in-service training on investigative encounters, focused in part on the prohibition of utilizing race or other protected class factors in the decision to question or stop an individual; has established a process to ensure thorough investigations of every allegation of racial profiling or biased policing; and has collected data related to such allegations and associated complaints, which is analyzed to determine if any patterns or trends exist.
Reduced Complaints: For the period of January 1, 2018 through May 31, 2018 there were a total of 329 biased policing complaints received by IAB. This number was reduced to 220 complaints for the same period in 2019.
Zero Tolerance for Slurs: OIG's conclusion that NYPD has substantiated zero biased policing investigations does not take into consideration that 49 cases of racial or other protected class slurs have been substantiated with the imposition of penalties of up to 30 days lost vacation. This is more such substantiations than by any other major city police department. The NYPD has zero tolerance for racial and other protected-class slurs. The policy prohibiting slurs is drilled into members of the service from their earliest training as recruits in the Academy and is reinforced in a variety of different ways by in-service training (Patrol Guide 203-10 Public Contact- Prohibited Conduct).
Context: The number of allegations of biased policing, when considered in the context of the tens of millions of public interactions over the past five years, represents less than .001% of those interactions.
Substantiation: While OIG highlighted a number of bias policing allegations, OIG itself did not identify a single allegation out of the 888 they reviewed that they believe should have been substantiated on the basis of the available evidence.
Scope of OIG Review: Importantly, the period of review of the OIG-NYPD's inquiry, which ends mid-2017, does not reflect all of the reforms the NYPD has implemented since 2014. Mentioned above, the period of time covered in the Report predates the full roll-out of Body Worn Cameras.
In addition, two issues raised in the Report have been fully addressed since mid-2017. 1) A department case management system, instituted in January 2018 and now used to document biased policing investigations, does not permit investigators to close cases until they have documented at least three attempts to contact a complainant. The system also requires investigators to sub-classify each case in accordance with the NYPD's nine defined sub classifications. 2) With respect to training since mid-2017, an additional eight hours of instruction dedicated to biased policing has been added to the recruit curriculum and is also mandatory training for all uniformed members of the Department.