NYC Dept. of Investigation finds 'deficiencies' in NYPD's response to George Floyd protests

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, December 18, 2020
Investigation finds 'deficiencies' in NYPD's response to Floyd protests
Dave Evans reports that several deficiencies were identified in the NYPD's response to the protests and violence in the spring.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City's Department of Investigation identified several deficiencies in the NYPD's response to the protests and violence in the spring, "that undermined public confidence in the NYPD's discharge of its responsibility to protect the rights of citizens to engage in lawful protest."

The DOI identified these key areas:

- The NYPD lacked a clearly defined strategy tailored to respond to the large-scale protests of police and policing

- The NYPD's use of force and certain crowd control tactics to respond to the Floyd protests produced excessive enforcement that contributed to heightened tensions.

- Some policing decisions relied on intelligence without sufficient consideration of context or proportionality.

- The NYPD deployed officers who lacked sufficient, or sufficiently recent, training on policing protests.

- The NYPD lacked a centralized community affairs strategy for the Floyd protests.

- The NYPD lacked a sufficient data collection system to track relevant protest data.

Highlights after the country's most significant weekend of protests in a half-century.

Police Commissioner Dermot F. Shea responded to the DOI report saying in a statement:

"I have reviewed the Department of Investigation report. In general terms, the report captured the difficult period that took place in May/June of 2020 and presents 20 logical and thoughtful recommendations that I intend to incorporate into our future policy and training. I'd like to thank DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett and her entire staff for their professionalism during this process."

Mayor de Blasio released a video message to New Yorkers supporting the findings and recommendations of the report. In late May, Mayor de Blasio directed the DOI to conduct an independent review of the protest response.

"It's a season of reflection right now, that's what the holidays are," said Mayor de Blasio in the video. "I read this report, and I agree with it. I agree with its analysis and I agree with its recommendations, because it makes very clear we got to do something different, and we got to do something better."

Legal Aid and NYCLU issued a joint statement on report saying:

"This report confirms that the shocking violence the NYPD employed during the George Floyd protests was directly traceable to the leadership failures of Mayor de Blasio, Police Commissioner Shea and other police leaders who created a de facto policy permitting and encouraging individual officers to target protesters for brutal treatment and unlawful arrests. Removing a terrorism-focused unit like the Strategic Response Group from the equation is a positive step, but simply instituting more training and shifting responsibilities around is not a solution. The fundamental problem is a Department whose leadership and culture allowed the events of this summer to unfold, refuses to confront its own conduct, and does nothing to address the root causes of these long-standing problems.

"Lastly, Mayor de Blasio's mea culpa comes a day late and a dollar short. It should not have required a City investigation for him to reach the same conclusion as millions with eyes to see bore witness to this past summer."


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