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Dozens of NYC officers should be disciplined over response to George Floyd protests, watchdog says

The Civilian Complaint Review Board said 65 officers should be disciplined for abuse of authority, use of force and other misconduct.
Image: New York
Police detain protesters as they march down the street in New York on May 30, 2020.Wong Maye-E / AP

Dozens of New York City police officers committed misconduct during the wave of protests that followed George Floyd's murder last year and should be disciplined, a police watchdog agency said Monday.

The city's independent Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB, which investigates police complaints, recommended that 65 officers face administrative charges for a variety of misconduct, including abuse of authority, making untruthful statements and use of force.

The board said it faced "unprecedented" challenges investigating more than 750 complaints, including allegations that officers covered their names and shields, did not properly use body cameras and filed incomplete or delayed paperwork.

"This once again highlights the CCRB's need for unfettered and direct access to body worn camera footage and the police documents needed to investigate a complaint," the agency said in a news release.

The board said it substantiated 42 complaints in 127 completed investigations. Four were unfounded. More than 100 investigations remain open.

Thirty-seven officers are expected to face administrative trials and could be fired or suspended, NBC New York reported. The 28 remaining officers could lose vacation days or face mandated training.

Patrick Lynch, the head of the Police Benevolent Association, a police union, dismissed the findings in a statement, saying the agency was "carrying political water" for the mayor "and others who are trying to wash away their own failures during last summer's protests."

"Police officers were sent out with no plan, no strategy and no support, into a dangerous environment created by politicians' irresponsible rhetoric," he said, according to NBC New York.

CORRECTION (Oct. 19, 2021, 1:15 a.m. ET): The caption of a photo in a previous version of this article misstated when New York police officers were pictured detaining protesters. The photo was taken May 30, 2020, not May 30, 2021.