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NYPD Adopts Clearer Penalties for Excessive Force, Racial Bias

2021-01-19 14:35:55
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New York City Police on Friday enacted new disciplinary rules calling for an end to police officers profiling racist or "excessive lethal violence". use.

The so-called "disciplinary matrix," as Mayor Bill de Blasio called it, also provides clear penalties for other offenses. Officers are suspended unpaid for 20 days for insubordination or reckless driving, and 10 days for failing to report a lost gun. The sentences can be adjusted based on mitigating factors or aggravating circumstances such as repeated offenses, de Blasio said in a statement.

The City Police Commissioner, who has the authority to make the final decision on discipline, may choose a different punishment to be interpreted as part of the file. Police officers can still complain about these disciplinary measures.

The new schedule of violations and punishments came a day after Attorney General Letitia indicted James New York City and his police department for using excessive force and biased law enforcement during Black Lives Matter rallies last spring that attacked thousands of protesters against racial injustice followed the Minneapolis police murder of George Floyd.

To damage

“In recent months, the NYPD has repeatedly and blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers, caused significant physical and psychological damage, and created widespread mistrust in law enforcement,” James said after the lawsuit was filed. James called for a court-appointed supervisor to oversee the department's practices during future protests and demonstrations.

Agents from the New York Police Department (NYPD) patrol Time Square as activists hold a rally on May 31, 2020 in New York City. Photographer: Justin Heiman / Getty Images

The lawsuit outlines what James called a long history of poor surveillance of protests in the country's largest city, including at anti-war rallies in 2003, the Republican National Convention in 2004, and the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011. In 2015, he inspected the NYPD Inspector General released a report in which he concluded that the department's policy of using force was "vague and imprecise, giving individual officials little advice on what actions constitute violence and providing insufficient instructions on de-escalation" , the lawsuit said.

The city is also facing a number of lawsuits from civil rights groups and individuals who say they were assaulted by police during those demonstrations, allegations echoed by James' action this week. Both the Attorney General and Civil Affairs are targeting police leadership for their role in quelling last year's protests.

Precious settlements

The actions threaten to be costly for the city, which is already struggling with a budget crisis. New York City paid $ 220 million in police misconduct settlements in fiscal 2019, the most recent year those figures are available, according to the city warden's office.

A separate internal investigation requested by the Blasio also found flagrant abuses by police during the protests, including indiscriminate use of truncheon and pepper spray, inconsistent enforcement of curfews, and excessive crowd control that heightened tensions.

Copyright 2021 Bloomberg.

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