The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) Thursday released data showing that the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) rejected over half of the CCRB’s disciplinary recommendations in 2022.
Commissioner Keechant Sewell has closed more civilian complaints against officers than former commissioner Dermot F. Shea. However, Sewell followed less than 50 percent of the CCRB’s recommendation, while Shea followed 80 percent. Sewell received 754 complaints from the CCRB and resolved over 400 of them. She failed to follow CCRB recommendations in 425, or 56 percent, of cases.
Maggie Hadley, a legal fellow with the Legal Aid Society’s (LAS) Criminal Defense Practice’s Special Litigation Unit, stated:
The frequency of these departures and their biased reasoning suggest a disregard for the primary goals of the NYPD’s Disciplinary Matrix mandated by the New York City Council — that is, transparent, fair, and predictable accountability for officer misconduct. This further erodes public trust in the NYPD’s disciplinary system, and we demand immediate action by City Hall to ensure that Commissioner Sewell ceases to abuse her discretion to undermine discipline.
On Wednesday, LAS sent a letter to New York City Mayor Eric Adams arguing that Sewell’s “departures in 2022 threaten to create resentment among members of the communities.” The letter further states that the community has “long called for NYPD leadership to take discipline seriously and lamented the Department’s repeated failures to address patterns of misconduct, as well as among officers who observe inconsistencies in discipline.”