Victims of civil rights abuse in New York City may soon find it easier to get the justice (and the financial compensation) they deserve as NYC has announced it will expand the power of an existing review board to hold officers who violate NYPD policies accountable. The Civilian Complaint Review Board was set up to investigate reports of excessive force, police brutality, policy violations, and civil rights violations reported by citizens. It operates independently of the NYPD itself and can recommend penalties to the Commissioner against individual officers if investigations reveal wrongdoing.
However, the agency has long been hampered by its inability to launch investigations of its own accord. A complaint first had to be initiated by the victim. In order to make the Civilian Complaint Review Board more powerful, Council Public Safety Chair Adrienne Adams initiated certain changes. Allowing the CCRB to investigate sexual misconduct and false statements is just the latest in a long line of changes designed to make it more effective and responsive.
The change would also “shift the burden” of filing complaints away from the victims themselves—who often are reluctant to do so for fear of retaliation. Despite the fear, records show that in 2019 there were nearly 5,000 complaints lodged against individual officers ranging from gross misconduct to excessive force.
At least 65 of those most recent cases were substantiated by the CCRB and have resulted in the board recommending punishments for active-duty police officers and NYPD employees.
However, the CCRB is not the only avenue for justice and compensation that victims of police improprieties have. A civil lawsuit may often be a better option for those who have had their civil rights violated by a member of the NYPD or a prison correction officer. If you or a loved one has suffered in such a way, contact an experienced Civil Rights attorney in New York City as soon as you can. The team at the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 800-734-9338 or 212-385-1122 for your free consultation.