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The New York City Police Department has earned a reputation as one of the most brutal police organizations in the world. From the abusive and unconstitutional policies of stop and frisk to their history of using lethal chokeholds that had to be deemed a criminal act, NYPD officers have often reigned down terror on Black and Brown citizens of the largest city in the country.
Therefore, it is not at all surprising that after an intense summer of protests following the killing of George Floyd, the NYPD would be called to task for its use of excessive force against protestors.
The New York City Department of Investigation recently published a report detailing brutality exerted by NYPD on citizens who protested Floyd’s killing. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for the investigation back in May after initially standing in support of the way the city’s police department was managing the protests.
De Blasio was made to re-examine his assessment of the situation after countless videos surfaced of NYPD officers dousing protestors with chemical irritants and shoving and hitting them. The report stated that the officers’ use of excessive force was attributed to them not having received “relevant training” in policing protests.
In response to the investigation’s findings, Antoine Pierre of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), a New York City-based organization geared towards ending discriminatory and abusive policing, said the following in a statement to The North Star:
“This 4-month overdue report reaffirms what New Yorkers already knew: the NYPD’s response to protests in defense of Black lives this summer was violent and brutal, illegally suppressed First Amendment rights, forced New Yorkers into dangerous situations created and escalated by police, and that police acted with impunity for acts including excessive use of force and hiding badge numbers so they couldn’t be identified.”
Pierre further acknowledged that though the report was helpful in reaffirming what was already known regarding NYPD policing protocol, CPR found the recommendations in the report to be “problematic” and the omissions “troubling.”
Or in other words, it sounds like a half-hearted discovery of wrong-doing that will likely not be followed by substantive change. Reputations are garnered over time, and a department such as the NYPD does not achieve that level of infamy by reversing course every time the citizens of New York object to their behavior.
If that was the case, they would have changed a long time ago
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be