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Advocates Demand End to NYPD's Discriminatory Gang Database

The Legal Aid Society, G.A.N.G.S Coalition, elected officials, impacted New Yorkers and others, rallied outside of the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD) to demand the release of a long-awaited report on the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) controversial gang database, and called on the New York City Council to pass Int 0360, pending legislation that would abolish the database and precludes the NYPD from creating a replacement.

The New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), which oversees OIG-NYPD, stated that the report would be released by the end of 2022. The report will reveal the findings of an audit that launched in 2018 into the problematic database, which is currently estimated to hold records on 17,500 to 42,000 New Yorkers, some as young as 13-years-old. 99 percent of those in the database are Black and Latinx.

Advocates have long decried the NYPD gang database as discriminatory, over-inclusive, and full of erroneous data that results in surveillance and the questionable prosecution of Black and Latinx people. Inclusion in a gang database, which requires no proof of criminal activity, can impact an individual’s access to housing, education, employment, naturalization, and more.

“Simply put, the gang database is a racist and unconstitutional tool that ensnares young Black and Latinx New Yorkers in the criminal legal system, and we’re confident that the OIG-NYPD report will reflect exactly that,” said Anthony Posada, Supervising Attorney of the Community Justice Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “We call for the immediate release of this report, and on the City Council to advance much needed legislation that will abolish this rogue and hyper-inclusive database once and for all.”