Thomas Tracey, May 14, 2015
Cop watchers armed with smartphones are not only catching police misconduct — they’re catching cops lying about the misconduct, officials said Thursday.
More and more cops are giving false statements in official documents or when questioned about their misbehavior, the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board said.
The NYPD watchdog group determined that 26 cops made false statements either to the CCRB or in their paperwork last year — double the amount of officers found fudging reports the year before — according to their 2014 report.
Many of the bogus statements were debunked by video evidence collected at the scene of the incident, according to CCRB chair Richard Emery, who was not surprised by the uptick of cops caught in lies.
“It is the inevitable result of videotaping more street encounters,” Emery said. “It’s interesting that there is not more. Videotape is hard to dispute when it’s clear.”
The statements were also contradicted by other officers at the scene or by independent eyewitnesses, the CCRB noted.
In one incident, a cop accused of misconduct during a stop-and-frisk claimed he never rifled through a man’s pockets, but video surveillance inside the building showed he did.
But even when confronted with the video, the cop denied the allegation.
“(The civilian) can say whatever he wants, that’s not what happened,” the officer said at the time.
In another case, a cop accused of cursing at a civilian admitted to pulling a gun on a man, but claimed up and down that he did not remember using any profanity.
A video taken by a witness at the scene, however, proved that the officer screamed “Get that f—— s— out of here” and “Go ahead, n—–,” as he swung his hand at the man.
After reviewing the video, the cop admitted to cursing and uttering the racial epithet, but only because he “feared for his life,” according to the report.
The CCRB does not have the jurisdiction to probe false statement allegations, but the agency forwarded its findings to the NYPD for further investigation.
The NYPD is reviewing the report and “looks forward to continuing to work alongside the CCRB in order to improve the overall process,” a department spokesman said.
Cops found guilty of making false statements are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, according to the NYPD patrol guide.
Police misconduct complaints to the CCRB dropped by 11% in 2014 — from 5,388 in 2013 to 4,788 last year, officials said.
Tracey, Thomas, May 14, 2015, “NYPD cops giving false statements about misbehavior is increasing: CCRB”, NY Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nypd-cops-making-false-misconduct-statements-increase-ccrb-article-1.2222662