New York City investigation finds NYPD used excessive force during George Floyd protests
The New York City Department of Investigation published a report Friday in which if found that local authorities used excessive force during protests against police brutality and racism over the death of George Floyd this summer.
“The NYPD’s use of force and certain crowd control tactics to respond to the Floyd protests produced excessive enforcement that contributed to heightened tensions,” the Department of Investigation said in the executive summary of its in-depth report.
The 111-page report was cleared for research and investigation by Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) in May after media reports and cellphone footage captured at summer protests showed law enforcement using overt force against demonstrators.
In some cases, protesters were caught on film being shoved and hit by officers while down on the ground, and another instance showed officers driving vehicles through crowds of people during the summer demonstrations.
Overall, one of the major conclusions from the report found “most officers responding to the protests had not received recent relevant training for policing protests,” with the exception of specialized unit officers.
The report also underscored a vast majority of officers performed their job correctly, contrasting between the few officers who evaded proper conduct while in tense conflicts between protesters.
Daily protests in New York City this summer were part of a broader national movement of individuals upset over the killing of Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody in May.
De Blasio defended the conduct of city law enforcement authorities through much of the demonstrations this summer, though he said in a video statement published by City Hall, “It makes very clear we’ve got to do something different, and we’ve got to do something better.”
“I read this report, and I agree with it. I agree with its analysis, and I agree with its recommendations,” the mayor added.
The conduct report advised the root of the excessive force problem was mainly due to New York City’s atypical use of three overlapping agencies performing oversight of police activities.
The report suggested creating a singular independent police oversight agency to combat the excessive force problem in the future.
Using a single oversight agency, the report recommended tasks such as investigating “complaints from the public and recommend discipline of individual officers … conduct systemic reviews of NYPD policy and practices and make recommendations for reform … and periodically audit NYPD’s internal discipline and anti-corruption efforts,” the report stated.
De Blasio said he and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea both agree with the findings of the report, saying, “We accept the recommendations of the Department of Investigation and we’re going to implement them right away.”