Reforms To NYPD’s Disciplinary System Announced

Published on June 18, 2020, 7:04 pm
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Mayor de Blasio today announced new reforms to the NYPD’s disciplinary system. These reforms will expedite the investigation and discipline for incidents involving substantial bodily injury to a member of the public, and provide greater transparency on disciplinary records and decisions. The Mayor also announced that the City will apply its new body-worn camera release policy retroactively, and release all audio and video footage from older cases that fit expanded criteria.

“New Yorkers are speaking up, and their City is listening,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “These historic reforms will make the disciplinary process faster, fairer and more transparent. We will never stop working to strengthen the bonds of trust between officers and the New Yorkers they serve.”

“These measures build on the vigorous reform agenda the NYPD took up in 2014,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. “They reinforce our commitment to transparency as well as safety and accountability for our officers who work tirelessly to serve and protect the public.”

Faster Discipline

For incidents involving substantial bodily injury, the Police Commissioner will make an initial determination on whether to place the officer on modified duty or suspension within 48 hours of the incident. NYPD will conclude the investigation into such incidents within two weeks, unless there are evidentiary delays caused by circumstances beyond the control of the NYPD or where there is significant risk of interference with a criminal investigation. Currently, the Internal Affairs Bureau must file charges within 18 months for administrative violations and there is no time limit to file disciplinary charges for criminal conduct.

More Transparent Discipline

The NYPD will publish all trial decisions or settlements reached going forward, effective immediately. NYPD will also post information for the approximately 1100 pending cases for which charges have been served. This information will include names, charges, hearing dates and resolutions when available. This information will be posted by mid-July.  The NYPD will also make comprehensive disciplinary records fully transparent online. The records of the pending cases will be prioritized for release. 

Body Camera Footage Policy

This week, Mayor de Blasio announced new body camera footage release policy to promote transparency and accountability. All video and audio footage must be released within 30 days when: an officer discharges a firearm that hits or could hit someone; an officer discharges a Taser in a way that results in death or substantial bodily harm; or an officer’s use of force results in death or great bodily harm. This new policy will apply retroactively to all audio and video footage from older cases that fit criteria. All footage will be publicly available online.

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