Revealed database of acts of misconduct by NYPD police officers and prison guards
For years one of the main clamors of community and civil organizations, as well as defenders of victims of police abusehave demanded that in an act of transparency the names of NYPD agents that they have engaged in acts of misconduct, and there is now a database available for anyone to access that information.
The collection of said information was the work of the organization Legal Aid, that through rights of petition (FOIL), discoveries in criminal cases and other resources, he managed to create the database, which contains more than 450,000 recordsand that in 2018 tested with the CAPstat base.
This was revealed this Monday by the legal defense association, after presenting, according to what they said, “the most complete database on records of police misconduct in New York City,” called “Search for Law Enforcement Actions” or “TOY”.
Legal Aid said it hopes this data will empower advocacy groups, journalists, civil rights attorneys, and the general public to investigate the records of law enforcement officers. New York Police Department and the Department of Corrections, in order to seek responsibility for the abuses that many uniformed officers have inflicted against New Yorkers, particularly in communities of color, such as Latinos.
Tina LuongoSenior Criminal Defense Practice Attorney a Legal Aid highlighted that the “LELU” data collection will be a powerful investigative tool, as for the first time the public will have access to the most comprehensive set of records of police misconduct in New York and criticized the fact that for years the authorities have wanted to keep this information secret, promoting impunity.
“For too long, the City, the NYPD, and the DOC (Corrections) concealed these records of misconduct from the public.although these records contain critical information that all New Yorkers should have access to,” said the Criminal Defense Practice senior attorney. “This information will help shed light on the culture of impunity that has existed for decades within these departments, allowing New Yorkers to hold those who police their neighborhoods and work in local jails accountable.”
The database points to cases in which the NYPD he has taken no action to hold accountable members of that force, who are still on the force, such as Officer Wayne Isaacs, who shot and killed Delrawn Small in an off-duty road rage incident in 2016. His disciplinary case it has gone on for years.
Barry checkco-founder of the Innocence Project, mentioned that this database contains vital information so that police abuses and misconduct by members of the NYPD and City jail officials do not go without receiving the sanctions and punishments they deserve.
“This latest database will help defenders, prosecutors, police and the public to ensure that justice is served. in our courts and that witnesses tell the truth. Databases like this should exist in all cities and states”, commented the activist.
The database includes information collected from 2013 to June 30, 2022, publicly displays records of 18,000 lawsuits filednames and misconduct of 14,000 NYPD officers, like 190,000 Civil Complaint Review Board records of accusations made against uniformed officers.
In addition, the public will be able to consult 1,000 complete investigation closure reports, 9,000 internal NYPD misconduct recordsincluding NYPD trial decisions and NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) records, 15,000 court and district attorney records, hundreds of DOC (Correctional) personnel disciplinary files, and payroll and roster data of all current NYPD and DOC employees.
Yung-Mi Lee, Legal Director of Brooklyn Defender Services’ criminal defense practicestated that the database will mark a path to combat abusive practices by the police without holding anyone accountable.
“For decades, records of police misconduct have been hidden from the public, contributing to the abusive police culture of the NYPD with impunity,” the advocate said. “From the repeal of 50-a to the enactment of new discovery laws in recent years, New York has taken steps to make these patterns of police misconduct more transparent. In the latest critical step in lifting the veil on NYPD and DOC misconduct and abuse, LELU is providing the public with access to the most comprehensive set of misconduct records ever seen and is a valuable tool for holding police accountable”.
Stan Germanexecutive director of the New York County Defense Services, stressed that justice for victims cannot be achieved without transparency, for which he applauded the presentation of the “LELU” database, which will be a crucial tool in the fight against police impunity.
“For decades, prosecutors were allowed to present police officers as unimpeachable and impartial witnesses, while the laws were used to protect the public and the court from the truth about the misconduct and wrongdoing of those same witnesses.” , highlighted the activist. (The database) will bring transparency and real accountability where it’s needed most: in our courtrooms.”
Justine Oldermanexecutive director of The Bronx Defenders, assured that in their day-to-day work defending people from The Bronx, lawyers have seen for years how the police have evaded responsibility for their actions, because the records of misconduct have been kept hidden from the public, for what the Legal Aid database described as a big step in the fight against impunity.
“With LELU, public defenders, advocates and the general public can visit one website to access the City’s most comprehensive database of police misconduct to date. Such access will allow us to further undo decades of police impunity and ensure true justice for those harmed by the police,” the defender highlighted.
Legal Aid said it plans to update the database regularly whenever records become available.
the nypd He did not refer specifically to the Legal Aid database, but warned that the Police have already made available to the public information related to actions against uniformed officers who have committed offenses or misconduct, showing their interest in transparency.
“The NYPD strongly believes in the importance of transparency., which is why the NYPD already makes disciplinary information available to the public on our website, with links to the Legal Department and CCRB websites,” said a spokesperson for the Uniformed Forces. “This is an ongoing project and we hope more information will be included as we continue to digitize Department records.”
The Department of Corrections, for its part, assured that this agency understands transparency as a crucial element, and warned that the information on prison personnel appears in the LELU database, has already been on the DOC’s online site since before.
“Being transparent about what happens in our jails is one of our top priorities. The DOC uniformed personnel disciplinary records on the new Legal Aid portal already existed on the DOC website and is not new information, a DOC spokesperson said. “We remain committed to building public trust by making data and information easily accessible to all.”
Data that can be found in the LELU database
- 450,000 records and more contains the database created by Legal Aid
- 18,000 filed lawsuits are available for search
- 14,000 NYPD officers involved appear in the records
- 190,000 Civilian Complaint Review Board records of allegations made against NYPD officers
- 1,000 complete investigation closure reports
- 9,000 internal NYPD misconduct records, including NYPD trial decisions and NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) records
- 15,000 court and district attorney records
- “Adverse credibility” records from four New York City County District Attorneys
- Payroll data and lists of all current NYPD and DOC (Correctional) employees
- 1,000 archived media articles on misconduct by NYPD police officers
- Hundreds of disciplinary records for DOC (Correctional) personnel
- Misconduct records in the database include data from 2013 to June 30, 2022
- Legal Aid said it plans to update the database regularly with new records available.
- To learn more about the database compiled by Legal Aid, you can visit this link: https://legalaidnyc.org/law-enforcement-look-up/
What is the LELU database for?
- Community members can use LELU after acts of police violence
- They can search the database for the history of misconduct of the officers involved
- By making these records public, advocates will have additional information when seeking justice for victims of police violence.
- They may have more tools to hold accountable officers who too often abuse their power and harm New Yorkers
- The sources of misconduct in the database range from vary to the extent that unique identifiers are provided for each individual law enforcement officer
- Database users will need to determine if their search results represent the officer in question.
- In the case of NYPD officers, the only stable officer identifier is the “Tax Identification Number”, which is not consistently available from all sources of misconduct records.
- Badge numbers, shields, seals, and officer names are subject to change and cannot be considered reliable identifiers.