Legal Aid Society


Data: NYPD Commissioner Sewell Flouted CCRB Discipline Recommendations

The Legal Aid Society released an analysis of New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) data, reports and documents, that reveals New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell flouted CCRB discipline recommendations on at least 425 civilian complaints in 2022, hundreds higher – 346 – than previously disclosed by the NYPD, as reported by The New York Times.

The analysis reveals that Commissioner Sewell allowed the statute of limitations to expire for hundreds of disciplinary cases without providing a publicly available “departure letter” explaining her decision to not discipline officers. For the small subset of cases where Commissioner Sewell did explain her reasons for departing from the CCRB’s disciplinary recommendation, she displayed a disregard for civilian oversight, independent factual findings, and the stated goals of the NYPD’s Disciplinary Matrix.

“The frequency of these departures and their biased reasoning suggest a disregard for the primary goals of the NYPD’s Disciplinary Matrix mandated by the New York City Council — that is, transparent, fair, and predictable accountability for officer misconduct,” said Maggie Hadley, a legal fellow in Legal Aid’s Criminal Defense Practice’s Special Litigation Unit.

“This further erodes public trust in the NYPD’s disciplinary system, and we demand immediate action by City Hall to ensure that Commissioner Sewell ceases to abuse her discretion to undermine discipline,” she continued.