The number of cops facing discipline over the NYPD’s response to the protests last year prompted by George Floyd’s death has nearly doubled — but dozens more will never be reprimanded due to the department’s flouting of “proper protocols” and shoddy record keeping.
The Civilian Complain Review Board has recommended charges against 26 more police officers — bringing the tally of cops who could lose vacation days, face suspension or be fired to 65, the agency announced Monday.
But an unknown number of officers are off the hook after “unprecedented challenges” in identifying cops forced investigators to close the book on dozens of probes.
A total of 313 complaints have been filed by the public alleging various misconduct from unnecessary force to offense language by officers, sergeants, litigants and captains — as well as a deputy inspector, Elias Nikas, and a deputy chief, James McCarthy.
Over the 17 months, 210 of those complaints were closed — with 43 being shut down “due to an inability to identify officers,” the agency said.
The police watchdog said it was impossible to track down cops in those complaints because officers either covered up their names and shields, wore protective equipment belonging to another officer or failed to use body cameras properly.
The agency also cited a “failure to follow proper protocols” and “incomplete and severely delayed paperwork.”
A total of 42 cases were found unsubstantiated, 28, unfounded, 4, or exonerated, 10, according to the CCRB. Just over 100 investigations remain open.
“The APU is prepared to move forward with trials for the 37 officers who have received the highest level of disciplinary recommendations, as soon as the NYPD serves officers,” CCRB Chair Fred Davie said.
The head of the Police Benevolent Association, the largest NYPD union, Patrick Lynch slammed the report as political.
“Once again, CCRB is carrying political water for Mayor de Blasio and others who are trying to wash away their own failures during last summer’s protests,” he said. “Police officers were sent out with no plan, no strategy and no support, into a dangerous environment created by politicians’ irresponsible rhetoric.”
Police spokesman Sgt. Edward Riley said, “Over the past fourteen months, the NYPD has assisted the CCRB in their investigations by providing hundreds of hours of body-worn-camera footage as well as thousands of pages of records.”
The NYPD will move forward with the CCRB in the process of adjudicating these cases,” he said, adding, “officers are entitled to due process.”