Until last month, New York state prohibited the release of police officers’ disciplinary records. Civilians’ complaints of abuse by officers were a secret. So were investigators’ conclusions. The public couldn’t even know if an officer was punished.
When the death of George Floyd and footage of his pleas for his life ignited worldwide protests, activists in New York renewed their push to repeal the statute that kept disciplinary records under wraps, known as 50-a. State lawmakers finally acted, voting to repeal the provision, which had been on the books for decades.
Soon after, ProPublica asked New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB, for a list of officers, along with the complaints against them, and what discipline, if any, had been recommended. Today, we are making this information public and, with it, providing an unprecedented picture of civilians’ complaints of abuse by NYPD officers as well as the limits of the current system that is supposed to hold officers accountable.
We’ve published a database that lets you search the police complaints so you can see the information for yourself. You can download the data we used to create it here.