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NYPD watchdog recommends discipline of 65 cops for misconduct during BLM protests

Dounya Zayer is removed in an ambulance near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Gardiner Anderson/ New York Daily News/TNS)

The city’s police watchdog has recommended the NYPD discipline 65 cops for misconduct during the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board called Monday for the NYPD to impose the highest form of discipline available — known as charges and specifications — against 37 officers for misconduct during the protests that swept the city after Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020. If found guilty after an administrative trial, those officers can face loss of vacation days, suspension or termination. The CCRB recommended another 28 officers face discipline through additional training or loss of vacation days.

The types of misconduct uncovered by the CCRB include use of force, abuse of authority, discourtesy and untruthful statements. One officer is accused of using his bicycle as a weapon against demonstrators.

“It is important for all misconduct to be taken seriously and all officers who commit misconduct must be held accountable,” CCRB Chairman Fred Davie said.

The Civilian Complaint Review Board’s recommendations are the result of an ongoing investigation of 313 complaints against cops involved in the racial justice protests. The CCRB has completed 127 full investigations so far, and 103 are pending.

About a third of the protest-related complaints against the police couldn’t be fully investigated because investigators were unable to to identify the officer involved — mostly because cops did not follow proper protocol. Some cops, the CCRB said, covered their name plates and shield numbers, wore protective equipment that belonged to someone else, did not properly operate their body-worn cameras, or did not properly complete paperwork.

In a statement, the NYPD said the department provided hundreds of hours of body-worn-camera footage to the CCRB and thousands of pages of documents.

“The NYPD has made significant strides and continues to work toward making our discipline processes transparent. Like any citizen, police officers should be afforded a presumption of innocence until and unless proven guilty,” the statement said.

The NYPD response to the protests drew widespread outrage.

In January, state Attorney General Letitia James sued the NYPD, saying the department’s harsh tactics suppressed free speech.

An assortment of class action lawsuits have also been filed against the city on behalf of protesters claiming they were mistreated by the NYPD.


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