Abuse toward public protesters was rampant all over the U.S. during the summer of 2020. And according to a new report from New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), the problem appears to have been especially bad in the country’s most populous city, where 39 officers have been accused of abuse or overuse of power, requiring department discipline.
Craig McCarthy of the New York Post reported that the CCRB, the “city’s police watchdog,” issued a report on Monday, June 21, detailing its ongoing investigation into the NYPD’s handling of the protests last summer. The group stated that, so far, it had successfully substantiated 26 complaints of misconduct against 39 different members of the NYPD.
“Among the recommended discipline were departmental charges against 14 cops — including Enrico Lauretta, who had a pair of complaints sustained for discourtesy and offensive language after flashing a white power sign during a June demonstration,” McCarthy reported. “The list of officers also includes Deputy Inspector Elias Nikas, who the board found made a retaliatory arrest during the protests, and Deputy Chief Michael Pilecki, who had substantiated charges for an improper seizing of property.”
The CCRB report is ongoing and may come back with additional recommendations for discipline. Currently, 38 officers still need to participate in interviews involving 147 investigations that are still under review.
“The majority of the cases with charges were for complaints of force and abuse of authority,” McCarthy reported. “One officer, who had a sustained force charge, also provided an untruthful statement.”
Details of what happened within each case have not yet been released.
According to McCarthy, “seven officers are expected to get a B-level command discipline, which is a penalty of up to 10 days, while the board recommended the lowest level of discipline, up to five days, for the remaining 17 cops.”
The CCRB said that it had received “hundreds” of complaints during the summer of 2020, resulting in more than 300 cases it had to review. Forty-nine of those investigations have been completed so far but are still pending review board approval. Any case determined to require reprimands will go to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who will ultimately determine the punishment for officers whose actions crossed acceptable department behavior guidelines.