The disciplinary records of more than a thousand New York Police Department (NYPD) officers and other employees were recently made public. The leak revealed punishment practices for various offenses such as tardiness at work, drunk driving and excessive force.
The documents were previously confidential until BuzzFeed News published them as a searchable database on its website on April 16. The digital media company claimed they chose to release the files due to “overwhelming public interest” in how New York City’s police disciplinary system operates.
The website published the disciplinary records of around 1,800 NYPD employees from 2011 to 2015. They indicated hundreds of police officers and other staff were given penalties that ranged from loss of vacation time to removal from the department. According to BuzzFeed, over 300 NYPD workers remained on the job despite committing violations that could have gotten them fired.
BuzzFeed’s release of the documents comes amid a battle over whether police disciplinary records should be shared in the public domain. Currently, a state law shields police disciplinary records from public view. The NYPD wanted to begin releasing summaries of disciplinary hearing outcomes with the offending officer’s names redacted. However, a state judge blocked the move pending a June hearing in a lawsuit filed by New York City’s largest police union.
Police officers who have been accused of misconduct have the right to a disciplinary hearing. If you are facing a hearing or other disciplinary inquiry, contact the experienced attorneys at Brill Legal Group. We know how to provide skilled representation to ensure you do not lose your job and avoid harsh penalties.