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DOIRpt.NYPD Reponse. GeorgeFloyd Protests.12.18.2020

Department of Investigation report on the NYPD response to the George Floyd protests. It is not yet on the DOI website, but since the Mayor was allowed to respond before it's release, which is highly irregular, the public should have it too

anti-racism, protest, police, George Floyd, NYDP

New York City

Department of Investigation

Investigation into NYPD Response to the George Floyd Protests

Margaret Garnett


December 2020

Investigation into NYPD Response to George Floyd Protests


Commissioner Margaret Garnett thanks the Review Team responsible for this Report, including for Part I: Inspector General & Counsel to the Commissioner Andrew Brunsden, Deputy Inspector General Arturo Sanchez, Assistant Inspector General Michael Garcia, Assistant General Counsel Christopher Tellet, Senior Policy Analyst Justyn Richardson, and Confidential Investigator Mariah Jno-Charles; and for Part II: First Deputy Inspector General Jeanene Barrett and Special Examining Attorney Eric del Pozo (the Commissioner extends additional thanks to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., for the loan of then-ADA del Pozo to this project).

Commissioner Garnett also thanks the other members of DOI's staff who assisted in certain aspects of the project: Data Analyst Ari Lewenstein, Special Investigator Adrain Gonzales, Confidential Investigator Gabriel Lipker, Special Investigator Zachary Toner, Confidential Investigator Harlyn Griffenberg, Confidential Investigator Alex Davie, Assistant Inspector General Brad Howard, Special Investigator Shakina Griffith, Special Investigator Alex Lai, Assistant Inspector General Matin Modarressi, Confidential Investigator Rushelle Sharpe, Special Investigator Julian Watts, and Confidential Investigator Katherine O’Toole.

Finally, the project benefitted considerably from the wise counsel of First Deputy Commissioner Daniel Cort, Deputy Commissioner & Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella, Deputy Commissioner & General Counsel Leslie Dubeck, and Inspector General Phil Eure.

NYC Department of Investigation | i

Investigation into NYPD Response to George Floyd Protests

Executive Summary 1 Part I: NYPD Response to Floyd Protests 6 A. DOI’s Investigation 7

B. Overview of the Scope and Scale of the Floyd Protests in New York City 8 Thursday, May 28 8 Friday, May 29 9 Saturday, May 30 11 Sunday, May 31 13 Monday, June 1 15 Tuesday, June 2 16 Wednesday, June 3 18 Thursday, June 4 19 Friday, June 5 22 June 6, 2020 to June 20, 2020 22

C. Overall Data on the Protests 23 NYPD data 23 CCRB data 28

D. DOI’s Investigative Findings 30

Finding 1: NYPD Lacked a Clearly Defined Strategy Tailored to Respond to the Large Scale Protests of Police 31

Finding 2: NYPD’s Use of Force and Control Tactics to Respond the Floyd Protests Produced Excessive Enforcement That Contributed to Heightened Tensions 39 A. NYPD’s Disorder Control Response and Tactics 39 B. Curfew Enforcement 46

Finding 3: Some Policing Decisions Relied on Intelligence Without Sufficient Consideration of Context or Proportionality 49 A. The Role of NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau in Connection with Protests Generally 49 B. NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau Role During the Floyd Protests 51 C. Use of Intelligence During the Floyd Protests 53

1. Changes in Protest Activity 53 2. Specific Intelligence 54

Finding 4: NYPD Deployed Officers Who Lacked Sufficient Recent Training on Policing Protests 56 A. Training Before the Floyd Protests 57

1. Academy Training 57 a. New Recruits 57 b. Specialized Units 59

2. In-Service Training 60 B. Training After the Floyd Protests 61 C. Assessment of NYPD’s Training Before and After Floyd Protests 61

NYC Department of Investigation | ii

Investigation into NYPD Response to George Floyd Protests

Finding 5: NYPD Lacked a Centralized Community Affairs Strategy for the Floyd Protests 63 A. Community Affairs Officers Have Historically Interacted with Participants During

Protests 63 B. The Community Affairs Bureau Was Not Part of the NYPD Response to the Floyd Protests 65 C. NYPD Employed an Inconsistent Approach to the Use of Precinct Level Community Affairs Officers During the Floyd Protests 66

Finding 6: NYPD Lacked a Sufficient Data Collection Systems to Track Relevant Protest Data 67

D. Conclusion and Recommendations 68 Part II: External Police Oversight In New York City 72

A. Who Externally Monitors Police Officers in New York City? 72 1. External Oversight of the NYPD in City Government 72 Civilian Complaint Review Board 72 Commission to Combat Police Corruption 77 Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD 79 2. Oversight of the NYPD at the State Level 82 3. Civil Litigation and Criminal Prosecution 84

B. Models of Police Oversight 86 1. Development of Modern Civilian Review Structures 86 2. Categories of Police Oversight Models 88

Investigation-focused 88 Review-focused 89 Auditor/Monitor-focused 89 3. How Do These Models Work in New York City? 90

C. Recurring Issues in External Oversight of the NYPD 91 1. Redundancy, Confusion, and Conflict 92 2. Community Engagement 94 3. Identifying and Mitigating Perceptions of Institutional Bias 96 4. Challenges in Accessing NYPD Records 99 5. Effect of Oversight Recommendations on NYPD 103

D. DOI’s Findings 106

Finding 1: Police oversight would be strengthened if existing functions were consolidated into a single agency, headed by an independent board 107

Finding 2: No executive within the NYPD is accountable for ensuring that the Department meets its obligation to facilitate and cooperate with its oversight agencies 109

E. Conclusion and Recommendations 110

NYC Department of Investigation | iii

Investigation into NYPD Response to George Floyd Protests

Executive Summary

Public trust and legitimacy are essential for the police to perform their vital work and honor their duty to serve and protect the public. Policing can be dangerous, even life-threatening, work—but this alone does not distinguish them from other public servants who face danger, such as firefighters, corrections officers, sanitation workers, and the people we send underground to dig the subways and the tunnels that bring our water. Police officers are given extraordinary powers—to carry a gun in a city where few lawfully can, to detain and arrest under the authority of the state, and to use force where necessary to protect their own lives or the lives of others. Extraordinary demands are made on them as well: responding to every conceivable emergency, bearing witness to the worst things human beings do to themselves and one another, protecting the weak and vulnerable, and investigating crime to bring justice to victims and their families and uphold the rule of law. In turn, the public expects and demands what should be rather ordinary things: that the police carry out these responsibilities without bias or misuse of their authority, that they willingly and effectively mete out discipline to officers who fail to meet these standards, and that they submit to public accountability for their actions. How the police respond to public protests against police misconduct puts both the importance, and the fragility, of public trust and legitimacy on full display.

On May 25, 2020, a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in the course of effectuating an arrest for using a suspected counterfeit bill. In the ensuing days and weeks, people across the country engaged in mass protests, including in New York City. The protests were sparked by Floyd’s death, but quickly expanded to embrace broader concerns about systemic racism in law enforcement and whether police are held accountable for excessive force. Considering their scale and duration, New York City’s protests were largely peaceful and the actions of most police officers were appropriate. However, the demonstrations also triggered numerous violent confrontations between police and protesters and widespread allegations that police had used excessive tactics against citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.

NYC Department of Investigation | 1

Investigation into NYPD Response to George Floyd Protests

On May 31, using his authority under Section 803 of the New York City Charter, the Mayor directed the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) to conduct a review of the response by the New York City Police Department (NYPD or the Department) to the protests. This directive was later embodied in Executive Order 58, signed on June 20, 2020. The Executive Order also called upon the Corporation Counsel to conduct “a separate analysis . . . of factors that may have impacted the events at protests.” DOI’s report does not include the Corporation Counsel’s separate analysis. Also on May 31, DOI received a written referral from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmember Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Oversight & Investigations Committee, similarly requesting that DOI investigate the NYPD’s approach to policing these protests.1

This Report outlines DOI’s investigation into the NYPD’s response to protests in New York City from May 28, 2020 through June 20, 2020 (hereinafter referred to as “the Floyd protests”). For purposes of this Report, DOI focused on the NYPD’s institutional and operational systems for response to the Floyd protests, including but not limited to its planning, strategy, enforcement actions, intelligence collection and dissemination, training, and police-community relations. In New York City, accountability for the actions of individual police officers or supervisors must come through disciplinary investigations or criminal investigations (which are the province of NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB), the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), or criminal prosecutors) or through civil litigation. Nearly all such investigations arising from the Floyd protests are ongoing as of the date of this Report. In order to avoid interfering with those investigations, or undermining their effectiveness, this Report does not consider allegations of individual misconduct by officers, except to the extent that such even

DOIRpt.NYPD Reponse. GeorgeFloyd Protests.12.18.2020
Tags Anti-racism, Protest, Police, George Floyd, NYDP
Type Google Doc
Published 01/03/2021, 03:36:58


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