NYPD Accountability Plan

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For the first time in the history of Gallup’s polling of the question, a majority of Americans lack confidence in the police.  It does not take a national poll to know that —  months of non-stop protests here in New York, throughout the nation, and across the globe are enough to tell us that people are demanding true accountability in law enforcement and that demand is closely intertwined with calls to reform our criminal justice system. Holding officers accountable, full stop, reimagining the role of police in our society, striking the right balance between public health and public safety, finding ways to keep people out of jail instead of inside, and taking a stand on behalf of victims of police misconduct and disproportionate over-policing—these issues are no longer up for debate.  

  • As District Attorney, I will create a new unit to partner with the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Under a Memo of  Understanding, the CCRB will refer potentially criminal conduct to the DA’s Police Accountability Unit and proactively investigate criminality committed by the police. 
  • As District Attorney, the defense will be informed of any negative or relevant information about officers involved in cases.
  • I will advocate before the City Council to create a publicly searchable website — 50a.com — that will contain NYPD and CCRB misconduct records.
  • I will move for the public disclosure of grand jury minutes where a grand jury fails to indict a police officer on the top charge or publication of a grand jury report detailing wrongdoing or recommending policy changes, including revisions to state law or police department policy.
 
  • I will decriminalize or decline to prosecute marijuana possession and use, as well as  enforcement of sex work-related crimes, loitering, and theft of service to eliminate unnecessary over policing because of the concern of disparate policing in certain communities.

 

Manhattan DA Partnership with CCRB 

Too often, when police violate the law, victims rarely report these crimes to traditional law enforcement and 7743 the DA’s Office is the last to know and the last to act. This must change. 

  • As DA, Diana will create a fully-resourced Police Accountability Unit which will be staffed with lawyers, analysts and community liaisons who will proactively look for criminality by partnering the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) through a Memorandum of Understanding, (“DANY-CCRB MOU”). 

Under the DANY-CCRB MOU, the CCRB will refer potentially criminal conduct in the complaints it receives by the Manhattan DA’s Office to ensure that officers are not only held accountable for misconduct, but also for any criminal acts. 

This unit will also actively partner with community based organizations and legal service providers to ensure that no matter where victims share their stories of police criminality, the information gets to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

 

Transparency 

The Manhattan DA maintains a proprietary list of  internal databases tracking officers with credibility issues. These databases variously drew information from civil lawsuits, prior criminal records, substantiated misconduct allegations, and determinations made by judges in the midst of proceedings.

1.As DA, Diana will identify and disclose the following information to the defense in every criminal case: complete officer misconduct history with dispositions, including any related to dishonesty or fabrication and any judicial findings of a lack of credibility that the Office becomes aware of or that are memorialized in a fashion the office can review and disclose.

  • If it is determined that an officer lacks credibility and cannot be allowed to testify, the Office will not pursue cases resting solely on that officer’s credibility, past cases resting solely on that officer’s credibility will be reviewed, and the police department and other local and federal prosecutors will be notified.
  • If the officer’s dishonesty could fall under the penal law, either for a lie made under oath or for false written entries in paperwork, the office will fully investigate any relevant criminal charges.

2.Diana will advocate for the City Council to create “50A.com” which will be a publicly available NYPD misconduct database, containing records from both the  CCRB and NYPD

 

Grand Juries 

After the Grand Jury in the Breonna Taylor case failed to return any indictments related to her death, public outcry led to the public release of the grand jury minutes. Diana believes that waiting for public outcry further erodes public trust.

As DA, in cases where a grand jury fails to indict a police officer on the top charge, Diana will move for

  •  immediate public release of the grand jury minutes and, where permissible,
  •  publication of a grand jury report detailing wrongdoing or recommending policy changes, including revisions to state law or police department policy.