Online database makes public misconduct accusations against NYPD cops, NYC COs
“This isn’t really about ‘transparency’ – it’s about advancing the anti-police narrative and making it easier for cop-haters to target individual police officers," said NYPD union president Patrick Lynch
By Graham Rayman
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — A new database went online Monday which contains hundreds of thousands of records of misconduct accusations against NYPD cops and New York City correction officers.
The Legal Aid Society database contains 450,000 records at a level of detail previously unavailable, including documents obtained through lawsuit discovery and the results of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests.
“For too long, City Hall, the NYPD, and DOC ( Department of Correction) withheld these misconduct records from the public, although these records contain critical information that all New Yorkers should have access to,” said Tina Luongo, chief attorney of the Criminal Defense Practice at The Legal Aid Society.
“This information will help shine a light on the culture of impunity that has existed for decades within these departments.”
But Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, the NYPD’s largest union, bashed the database Monday.
“Most of the information in this database was already public and searchable,” Lynch said. “This isn’t really about ‘transparency’ – it’s about advancing the anti-police narrative and making it easier for cop-haters to target individual police officers. It’s yet another reason that New York City police officers are quitting at record rates.”
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The database is an expansion of Legal Aid’s CAPstat database, first posted in 2018, which contained information on NYPD officers, including the number of times they have been sued, and some court records.
The new database contains more than 18,000 lawsuits filed against more than 14,000 NYPD officers between 2013 and June 30, 2022.
It also has more than 1,000 final reports on civilian complaints filed against officers. There are also about 9,000 NYPD internal affairs misconduct records with NYPD trial decisions, along with letters compiled by county prosecutors of disciplinary cases and past questions of credibility on police officers who may be called as witnesses in criminal cases.
There are also hundreds of Correction Department disciplinary records. For example, the Correction Department section shows the result of 369 disciplinary cases related to uses of force mostly between 2017 and 2019 and the penalties that were assessed.
Among them are 93 cases of excessive force in which the penalties ranged up to 60 lost vacation days and termination. A total of 154 cases involved failure to report a use of force, falsely reporting a use of force or otherwise delaying reporting.
“This latest database will help defenders, prosecutors, police and the public ensure that justice is done in our courts and witnesses tell the truth,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project. “Databases like this should exist in every city and state.”
Leaders of Brooklyn Defenders Services, New York County Defender Services and the Bronx Defenders also lauded the new research tool.
But the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association slammed it as an “attempt to hurt the careers of essential first responders.”
“Rather than recycling information that is already publicly available elsewhere, there should be a database showing New York City taxpayers all the frivolous lawsuits that legal aid ambulance chasing lawyers have filed against the city over the past decade in the hopes of cashing in on a big pay day,” COBA President Benny Boscio said in a statement. “They’re a disgrace!”
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