(NEW YORK) — Nearly 150 New York City police officers violated department rules during 2020 protests over the death of George Floyd, according to a new report issued Monday by the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The Board substantiated misconduct against 146 officers. Most of the violations involved excessive force, including improper use of batons and pepper spray. Other violations involved discourtesy or offensive language.
The report said there were hundreds more allegations the CCRB could not investigate because officers wore bands over their badge numbers or refused to be interviewed remotely.
“The Black Lives Matter protests that occurred in the summer of 2020 were massive in scale, but not unprecedented in nature,” said interim CCRB chairwoman Arva Rice. “Given what is happening across the country regarding reproductive rights, immigration, affordable housing, and police brutality, people will continue to protest for their rights. It is key for New York to know how to best respond to protests, especially protests against police misconduct.”
The NYPD said the substantiated allegations amount to less than 15% of complaints.
The department also objected to the way the CCRB characterized its response to the protests, including a failure to acknowledge that officers were working under sustained, dangerous conditions.
“At the peak of the protests, there were more than 22,000 NYPD officers deployed in a single day, attempting to facilitate people’s rights to peaceful expression all while addressing acts of lawlessness including wide-scale rioting, mass chaos, violence, and destruction,” the NYPD said.
The department continued, adding, “Officers were faced with perpetrators who were looting, setting fires, and destroying property. During this period, more than 400 uniformed members of the NYPD were injured, with over 250 of them hospitalized, and nearly 300 NYPD vehicles were vandalized, including several that were destroyed by arson from the throwing of Molotov cocktails.”
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