The Office of the Inspector General for the New York City Police Department issued its first annual report today summarizing the Office’s efforts and accomplishments over the last year. According to the report, Inspector General Philip Eure has identified four issues that will receive scrutiny in the coming year, including the improper use of force by NYPD officers, patterns of low-level arrests, police encounters involving people with mental illness, and surveillance of religious and political groups.
“This report marks a milestone for the NYPD and a step forward for all New Yorkers,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “In the last year, the IG’s office has built up its capacity to conduct independent investigations of the police. Communities affected by the NYPD’s policies and practices, including Muslim New Yorkers who have been severely impacted by sweeping surveillance initiatives, are eagerly awaiting Inspector General Philip Eure’s promised review of these programs.”
“Independent oversight of the NYPD is critical, now more than ever,” said Michael Price, counsel at the Brennan Center. “Accountability and transparency are crucial if the NYPD is going to win back the community’s trust and keep New Yorkers safe. We look forward to a detailed report from the IG on surveillance issues, which are still in need of reform.”
The NYPD Inspector General Office was established by the City Council in 2013 after the Council overrode a veto from then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Brennan Center for Justice advocated for an independent inspector general for the NYPD in a 2012 report, A Proposal for an NYPD Inspector General.