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Stop Cops from Burying Complaints

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo New York Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com Stop the cops from burying
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9, 2004
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      New York Daily News
      Stop the cops from burying complaints
      Tuesday, November 9th, 2004

      Last week, it surfaced that Police Commissioner Raymond
      Kelly decided in August that officers charged by the
      Civilian Complaint Review Board with misconduct during the
      Republican National Convention would not face discipline
      until after a second investigation by an internal NYPD panel.

      This assures that some officers guilty of misconduct never
      will be disciplined, and it undermines the goal of civilian
      oversight of the Police Department.

      After the City Council set up the CCRB in 1993 as an
      independent agency to investigate complaints of police
      misconduct, Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the NYPD did everything
      they could to undermine the agency. One of their most
      effective strategies was to insist on the department's
      conducting its own investigations of the cases the CCRB
      already had investigated and referred for discipline. That
      let the NYPD drag out the disciplinary process, get rid of
      complaints and render the CCRB almost meaningless.

      Under pressure, the department eventually abandoned its
      re-investigations. Even so, only tiny numbers of cops have
      faced discipline as a result of CCRB investigations,
      Currently, the CCRB refers only about 7% of all complaints
      to the NYPD for discipline.

      The department has sought to justify its re-investigations
      by accusing the CCRB of trying before the convention to
      encourage "anarchists" to file complaints. But the CCRB is
      investigating only 59 convention complaints, proving this is
      just misinformation.

      In truth, there is ample evidence of police abuse. The
      Manhattan district attorney's office already has dismissed
      more than 200 cases of protesters, bystanders and observers
      illegally arrested during the convention. Shortly after we
      charged that police had unlawfully fingerprinted thousands
      of people, the NYPD destroyed the prints. And the pervasive
      video surveillance of lawful demonstrations may have
      violated First Amendment rights of tens of thousands.

      The decision to resurrect the re-investigation practice
      represents a big step backward from meaningful, independent
      oversight of the cops. If Kelly is not willing to abolish
      this special panel, Mayor Bloomberg needs to step in and put
      a stop to it.

      Dunn is associate legal director and Lieberman executive
      director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

      Dan Clore

      Now available: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      Lord We├┐rdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:

      "It's a political statement -- or, rather, an
      *anti*-political statement. The symbol for *anarchy*!"
      -- Batman, explaining the circle-A graffiti, in
      _Detective Comics_ #608
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