A report by the New York City Department of Investigation claims that despite almost 3,000 reports of biased policing in the past five years, not one has been substantiated.
“Biased policing, actual or perceived, undermines the core value of equal treatment under the law and also poses a threat to public safety because racial profiling and other types of biased policing undermine the public’s confidence and trust in law enforcement,” Inspector General Philip Eure wrote in the initial report that was released Wednesday.
The report also states that since 2014, at least 2,495 complaints of biased policing were filed by members of the public. However, the Office of the Inspector General of the New York City Police Department (OIG-NYPD) stated it had “analyzed 888 such allegations, covering a two-and-a-half year period, and found inadequacies in how NYPD investigated and tracked them.”
“Moreover, to date, NYPD has not substantiated any complaints of biased policing since it created the distinct complaint classification,” the report said.
The OIG-NYPD said it examined the allegations, reviewed over 5,000 documents, attended officer trainings, and interviewed investigators during the investigation process. The OIG-NYPD determined that the majority of complaints were based on allegations of police bias involving “race, ethnicity, color, or national origin and that the largest category of complainants were Black (66.5%).”
New York City councilman Brad Lander and public advocate Jumaane Williams criticized the police department in a statement, claiming that it is “both unable and unwilling to police itself.”
The department’s failure to adequately investigate and address complaints of bias and racism experienced by members of the public at the hands of the police shows a clear disregard for the rights and safety of communities of more color.
The NYPD released a statement in response to the initial report, stating, “The NYPD understands that constitutional, biased-free policing is foundational to building community trust and keeping New York City even safer.”
“Whether enhancing training for officers; outfitting all 22,000 patrol cops with body-worn cameras; or dramatically reducing stop-question-frisk, every change is designed to bring police and community closer together,” the statement concluded.