Disciplinary histories of 83,000 NYPD cops made public online after court battle

NYPD patrol car (Pete Stewart/WikiCommons)

Disciplinary records for more than 83,000 active and retired cops were posted online by the Civilian Complaint Review Board on Thursday — with thousands more set to be made public soon by the New York Police Department.

The records, going back to Jan. 1, 2000, have long been shrouded in of secrecy, which critics say provided cover for misbehaving cops and department brass who too often looked the other way or let them off with a slap on the wrist.

Their release was several years in the making, with police unions fighting to prevent information covered by Section 50-a, the law that since 1976 kept police disciplinary records from public view unless a judge said otherwise. The law, which also applied to firefighters and correction officers, was repealed last June amid widespread protests over police brutality.

A last-ditch effort by NYPD police unions was defeated two weeks ago, with an appeals court rejecting the argument that disclosing such records will put cops’ lives in danger.

The records posted on CCRB’s website cover 34,811 active officers and 42,218 retired officers.

It lists their shield numbers, their current or most recent assignment, their rank and a brief summary of the accusations against them — how many complaints, how many substantiated complaints and details for each complaint, such as when the incident took place, what was alleged and how the case was adjudicated.

Further information about any incident is available by filing a Freedom of Information Law request.

NYPD Assistant Chief Matthew Pontillo said that next week the department will post an “online dashboard” that will list what he called a “baseball card” style summary for every active cop — including an officer’s rank, assignment history and commendations, plus any disciplinary history for those who fight the charges in the One Police Plaza trial room.

Trial room decisions for both current and former cops — which include the administrative judge’s recommendation to the police commissioner as well as the commissioner’s final decision — will also be accessible.

The first NYPD data dump will detail discipline cases back to 2018. After that, Pontillo said, more data will be added — for active cops who are disciplined without a trial, and for trials, going back to 2008, for both current and ex-cops.

Records before that are in paper form, Pontillo said, sitting in a New Jersey warehouse and are not likely to be added to the database.

The NYPD also said the dashboard will provide links to the CCRB database and to records being provided by the city’s Law Department, which represents police officers in civil suits.


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