As young New Yorkers continue to take to the streets to protest against police misconduct and advocate for criminal justice reform, today, the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) released an analysis of more than 100 complaints involving young New Yorkers that the Agency received between January 2018 and June 2019. The Agency’s analysis of these complaints involving New Yorkers age 10 to 18 shows the following:
- Adults reported most incidents to the CCRB, a finding that suggests youth may be unfamiliar with the CCRB or unaware of how to report allegations of misconduct. Of the 112 fully-investigated complaints the Agency examined, an adult reported the incident in 93 of them (83%).
- CCRB analysis showed young males of color between the ages of 10 and 18 were a complainant and/or victim in nearly 65% of complaints involving youth, despite only accounting for less than 5% of New York City’s population according to most recent estimates.
- Several youth-NYPD interactions involving New Yorkers between the ages of 10 and 18 involved officers stopping youth for seemingly innocuous activities, such as playing, high-fiving, running, carrying backpacks, and jaywalking.
As part of the CCRB’s effort to increase outreach to New York’s youth, and in response to the finding that adults—not youth—reported the vast majority of fully-investigated complaints involving young New Yorkers, the CCRB released a public service announcement that encourages young New Yorkers who experience misconduct to call the CCRB. The two-minute ad is the product of collaboration between the Agency’s Youth Advisory Council and Never Whisper Justice, a film production company specializing in social justice issues who has worked with other CCRB partners including the New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty, Policy, and Research.
“Across the nation, Americans are experiencing a collective mourning that affects all of us, including our youth. Sadly, after years of witnessing news about police misconduct and possibly experiencing it themselves, even the youngest among us have an awareness of the tension that too often exists between the police and civilians,” said CCRB Chair Fred Davie. “As young New Yorkers lead the way in calling for change in our city following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, it’s time for the NYPD to re-consider how officers police our youth, address disparities in law enforcement, and commit to swift discipline when officers engage in misconduct.”
The Agency’s youth report and PSA are the latest components of an ongoing effort to increase outreach to young people, which began early last year. The CCRB’s February 2019 Youth Summit, “Speak Up, Speak Out: A Youth Summit on Policing in New York City,” which was held in conjunction with the New York University McSilver Institute for Poverty, Policy, and Research and the New York University Law Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, brought together more than 200 young people ages 10 to 24 from across New York City to directly share their experiences with policing, identify problems in their communities, and recommend solutions to public safety and police oversight practitioners and academics. This summit directly informed the CCRB’s Youth Report and heightened the Agency’s awareness of its need to reach more young New Yorkers and ensure they know that CCRB is a resource for them if they believe they have experienced misconduct.
Isa Khan, Youth Advisory Council Member, 2019-2020:
“It is imperative for the voices of the next generation to be heard in the conversation that we are having today because the policies that we enact now will have a direct effect on their relations to law enforcement in the near future. In doing so, we not only open the door for more future minded policies that include a wider variety of backgrounds affected but we in turn show our youth of today the importance of speaking up, being politically active, and paving the way towards a better society.”
April Cardena, Youth Advisory Council Member, 2019-2020:
“Having been a part of the CCRB’s Youth Advisory Council, I know, first-hand, the importance of having the youth voice present in our social justice initiatives, especially in reference to police reform and accountability. Our generation is filled with diverse individuals who have a variety of unique experiences, political ideologies, and inherent beliefs – all of which allow us to put forward new and varying solutions to antiquated processes, issues, and standards. By continuing non-partisan initiatives, such as the Youth Advisory Council, we help to create an environment of inclusivity and advocacy which allows for an entire generation of voices to be heard and their ideas brought to the table.”
Winnie Shen, Youth Advisory Council Member, 2018-2019:
“Too many young people are treated as criminals in their classrooms and on the streets. When those in power do nothing to address systemic injustices, it is up to the youth to demand change. We need more than reform; we need a radical transformation guided by those who are not confined by preconceptions of what justice can look like.”
Christopher Mitchell, Youth Advisory Council Member, 2018-2019
“At a time when raising your voice to combat injustice and usher in change matters the most, I am proud to have served on the proactive Youth Advisory Council for the Civilian Complaint Review Board, where we don’t just speak of change, we become the change we want to see in our city and provide a platform for more of New York’s youth to do the same.”
The full report can be found here.
About New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board
The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is the largest police oversight entity in the nation and is empowered to investigate, mediate, prosecute, and recommend disciplinary action for complaints alleging misconduct by NYPD officers. See NYC Charter § 440(c)(1).
The agency’s jurisdiction includes excessive and unnecessary force, abuse of authority, discourtesy, and use of offensive language.
To further this mission, CCRB issues monthly, biannual, and special statistical and qualitative reports analyzing trends and recurring issues arising from the many thousands of civilian complaints it receives each year.