Cracking the Blue Wall of Silence: How We Investigated the NYPD

How does accountability for police officers really work? Join reporters for a live digital event on what they learned from inside the insular world of policing — and what it means for you.

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For more than a year, ProPublica has investigated abuse and impunity inside the New York City Police Department. The project started with one question: How does accountability for NYPD officers really work? It became an unprecedented examination of how a veneer of civilian oversight belies the reality that America’s largest police force largely polices itself.

Join members of the series’ reporting team for a live digital event about how they gained access to the insular world of the NYPD and what they learned about one of the nation’s most opaque police disciplinary systems.

In a conversation moderated by Ashley Southall, the New York Times’ law enforcement reporter, ProPublica editors, reporters and developers Jake Pearson, Topher Sanders, Joaquin Sapien, Mollie Simon, Eric Umansky and Derek Willis will share their most surprising discoveries, what recourse New York City residents have when it comes to getting accountability for police abuses, and — in the wake of the Derek Chauvin trial and a spate of fatal police shootings — how NYPD disciplinary practices are reflected across American policing. They will also answer your questions.

ProPublica’s award-winning “NYPD Files" series has uncovered a range of issues at the department, including that high-ranking commanders are promoted despite a history of complaints and misconduct allegations; that the NYPD frequently withholds evidence from civilian investigations into police abuse; that officers continue to kill people in crisis with few consequences; and that NYPD commissioners have used their total authority over discipline to set aside recommendations from the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates complaints against NYPD officers, including the officers’ own guilty pleas to disciplinary charges. As part of the project, ProPublica also made a searchable public database of police discipline records that New York kept secret for decades.

Supported by McKinsey & Company. Learn more about sponsorships.

This event has ended.