Law enforcement corruption has plagued the Big Apple for over a century. Despite several efforts to reform policing in New York City, misconduct remains a significant problem.
In addition to “shaking down” criminal organizations for a share of profits, police officers sometimes mistreat citizens, even abusing them physically. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), only a fraction of police brutality and misconduct complaints result in officer discipline.
Should you still speak out?
Those harmed by police officers usually feel isolated, alone and afraid to seek a legal remedy. It may help to know that others in your situation overcame their fear and chose to report their experience to the proper authorities, including the federal justice department.
The numbers suggest that calling out excessive force or police brutality may go nowhere, but it remains critical to act against your mistreatment. A plethora of citizen complaints and legal filings may be the only way to show lawmakers the true scope of the problem. The more complaints filed, the sooner they realize that the issue must continue to be addressed.
Does New York have police misconduct laws?
In 2021, the state Attorney General introduced legislative amendments to increase accountability for officers engaging in brutality or unjustified force. That could mean victims of police officer misconduct have better odds than ever of finding justice.
Can you prevail against police brutality?
You can, but it takes a strong commitment, patience and plenty of work. An ideal first step is securing protection for yourself and your family. Someone experienced in police misconduct and brutality cases can provide you with support and guidance.