The New York Police Department has disciplined three officers who may have racially profiled, then detained a member of city council and another city official, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn), and Kirsten John Foy, both of whom are black, said they had police permission to walk on a blocked-off sidewalk this summer while on their way to a post-West Indian Day parade event at the Brooklyn Museum.
Police officers, apparently unaware that the two were city officials, confronted Williams and Foy. An argument ensued until cops eventually threw Foy, an aide to public advocate Bill de Blasio, to the ground and then handcuffed him. Williams was handcuffed while standing up (you can see the whole incident here). After 30 minutes, and once their identities were confirmed, the two men were released.
At a press conference the following day, Williams and Foy said their treatment by police officers was systemic of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program, which they say unfairly targets black and latinos.
And two months later, an internal affairs investigation by the NYPD has determined the officers were at fault.
From The Journal:
"The letter did not identify the officers or disclose their punishment. But Civil Liberties Union officials said the group was informed that the officer who forced Foy to the ground was found to have used excessive force. He was given what is known in the NYPD as a Command Discipline, or CD, which involves a loss of up to 10 days’ vacation time and permanent notation of the punishment on his file. The officer’s supervisor will also receive a CD for failing to provide proper supervision. The officer’s supervisor, a captain, will forfeit fewer vacation days than the first officer, NYCLU officials said.
According to the Civil Liberties Union, a third officer involved in the incident will receive “verbal instructions” telling him that he erred in failing to tell the other officers that he had permitted Williams and Foy to enter the blocked-off area. All three officers will also have to undergo training sessions."
At least one NYPD official disagrees with the ruling. Deputy Inspector Roy T. Richter, the president of the Captain’s Endowment Association, tells The New York Times, "“This is about an elected official who was in a rush and decided to use his position to get through a police barricade," adding, “It is wrong that all these officers will now face discipline to appease some political purpose. Again, they were only doing their job.”
In August, a federal judge greenlighted lawsuit against the NYPD saying the stop-and-frisk program failed to reduce crime in an unbiased manner and promoted racial profiling.
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