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NYPD watchdog: 145 officers should be punished over conduct during Black Lives Matter protests

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New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) said it has substantiated complaints of misconduct involving 145 officers related to their behavior at the Black Lives Matter protests during summer 2020.

The board added in a review relating to protests out Wednesday that about 39 percent of the more than 750 complaints of alleged misconduct were substantiated. 

“The CCRB has seen unprecedented challenges in investigating these complaints particularly around the identification of officers due to the failure to follow proper protocols, officers covering their names and shield, officers wearing protective equipment that did not belong to them, the lack of proper use of body worn cameras, as well as incomplete and severely delayed paperwork,” the board said.

The 145 officers recommended for disciplinary action had 267 substantiated allegations of misconduct, it added, noting that the New York Police Department has finalized 44 cases and imposed discipline against 18 officers in connection to the complaints made against them.

Former New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has said that the department “responded to a very difficult situation” in terms of the protests, which stemmed from the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in late May 2020.

“I think the officers did a phenomenal job under extremely difficult circumstances,” Shea added in a 2020 interview. “We were as ready as anyone is ready. And we’ll learn from it, and move forward.”

Earlier this year, President Biden visited New York City as its mayor and former police chief, Eric Adams (D), looks to combat the city’s gun violence issues. 

“Mayor Adams, you and I agree, the answer is not to abandon our streets, that’s not the answer,” the president said, indicating opposition to the idea of “defunding” the police, which protesters in some cities had demanded in the wake of Floyd’s death.

“The answer is to come together, police and communities, building trust and making us all safer. The answer is not to defund the police, it’s to give you the tools, the training, the funding to be partners, to be protectors, and the community needs you, know the community,” Biden added at the time.

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