NYPD failed the citizens of New York City during the George Floyd protests: official report

An investigation into the handling of the George Floyd protests in New York City by the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) officers released Friday found that the NYPD did not execute “its responsibility to protect the rights of citizens to engage in lawful protests” and that the actions of numerous officers went so far outside the scope of their job that the whole department failed. The investigation was ordered by Mayor Bill De Blasio under Section 803 of the New York City Charter after numerous reports questioning NYPD conduct during the protests that were held between May 28, 2020 and June 20, 2020.

The report made several key findings. First, “the NYPD lacked a clearly defined strategy tailored to respond to the large-scale protests of police and policing.” Second, “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.” Third, the NYPD deployed police officers who lacked sufficient training for large scale protests.  Fourth, there were no adequate means to collect data to track the protest activities nor was there any sort of community affairs strategy.  Fifth, “some policing decisions relied on intelligence without sufficient consideration of context or proportionality.”

The methodology of the investigation focused on the behaviors of the police department as a whole, rather than the individual officers found to do particularly egregious acts. The report eluded to this by pointing out that “some police officers engaged in actions that were, at a minimum, unprofessional and, at worst, unjustified excessive force or abuse of authority, but the problems went beyond poor judgment or misconduct by some individual officers.” 

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