By Rocco Parascandola
The NYPD has failed to substantiate a single complaint of biased policing since it began using the complaint category five years ago, a scathing new study released Wednesday said.
The study from the department's inspector general first looked at 888 of the 2,495 bias-related complaints filed against NYPD officers between when the department began tracking such complaints in 2014 and the end of 2018.
It then went a step further and said, "NYPD officials confirmed in June 2019 that the department has never substantiated an allegation of biased policing."
The NYPD responded by saying the study doesn't reflect recent reforms, such as the full rollout of body-worn cameras.
The department stressed that biased policing complaints are down a dramatic 33% so far this year and that the complaints studied by the IG represent only 0.001% of police encounters with the public during the relevant time.
"The NYPD understands that constitutional, biased-free policing is foundational to building community trust and keeping New York City even safer," the department said in a statement.
The report did say several built-in deficiencies were working against the department in its ability to investigate complaints.
For instance, if a cop is accused of bias but is not involved in any police action, such as making an arrest or conducting a stop-and-frisk, the case is referred to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The watchdog group then investigates the complaint as abusive language, not biased policing. Still, the NYPD noted that 49 such cases were substantiated, with various penalties imposed.
The report also cited instances where some allegations were improperly classified, making it "more difficult from the outset for NYPD to investigate allegations of biased policing thoroughly and to track such complaints systemically for the purpose of identifying patterns and trends."
The department's IG, Philip Eure, was appointed in 2014, a year after the City Council created the office in response to complaints over the overuse of stop-and-frisk and surveilling Muslims.
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