The question of whether the NYPD needed an inspector general was one of the most divisive issues early in the 2013 mayoral campaign. To date, however, the first man to hold that post has been fairly quiet. That changed Thursday with Philip Eure’s report on how the NYPD has handled discipline of officers found to have used excessive force.
The report found that from 2010 through 2014, the police commissioner failed to discipline 36 percent of the officers believed to have used excessive force, that “the NYPD has no centralized form for reporting use of force and no Department-wide system for tracking use of force in order to monitor the problem” and that “the NYPD has insufficient training on de-escalation tactics necessary to prevent
excessive force in the first instance.”
The report did note that the share of force cases ending in no discipline dropped to 11 percent over the past 18 months, or the time that Bill Bratton has been running the department. It also notes that One Police Plaza says changes to the Patrol Guide are coming–evidently, the ones Commissioner Bratton also unveiled Thursday.
One goal the commissioner outlined today was to track use of force better. Right now, according to the Times, force is reported in about 2 percent of arrests. One question is how often force is applied in non-arrest situations. If stop-and-frisk is any guide, the broader focus is likely to show a higher use of force: In its report on stop-and-frisk during 2013, the NYCLU found some type of force used in 18 percent of stops encounters.