The NYPD’s enforcement of a ban on officers using chokeholds is “erratic,” according to a report released Monday by the policxe department’s newly created Inspector General.
The report also faulted the NYPD’s disciplinary process, saying it’s “complex, multi-tiered, and often delivers inconsistent results.”
Of 10 police chokeholds substantiated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board from 2009 to 2014, only one officer was disciplined, losing five vacation days.
Others were sent for more training or had no disciplinary action taken against. Chokeholds have been banned since 1993. Despite efforts by some City Council members, chokeholds have not been made illegal.
The report did not look a the alleged chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner in July.
The CCRB said it had not yet validated that Garner died of a chokehold at the hands of Officer Daniel Pantaleo. NYPD launched its own investigation into Garner’s death after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo on Dec. 3.
The NYPD unit that prosecutes internal disciplinary matters downgraded recommendations by the CCRB to lesser or no penalties in six of the seven cases before 2014, according to the report. Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly himself rejected CCRB’s disciplinary recommendations in six of the ten cases studied, again imposing a less severe or no penalty.
The report also acknowledged that the NYPD had already taken steps to improve its relations with the CCRB, and that the city investigators would continue to probe excessive force complaints.
In a letter from DOI Commissioner Mark Peters to Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, Peters acknowledged that the report was delayed three weeks after the murders of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Dec. 20 out of respect to the police.
“One can respect the NYPD and still seek to address the legitimate concerns of the communities it serves,” Peters added.