When a complaint against the NYPD alleges excessive force, abuse of authority, discourtesy, or offensive language by an officer, it is first investigated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB).
In 2012, the CCRB received 5,741 complaints.
258 complaints against NYPD officers were substantiated and have since been processed by the NYPD.
The CCRB refers substantiated complaints to the police commissioner and recommends one of three levels of discipline.
Most severe
Least severe
Charges175 cases
Discipline70 cases
Instructions12 cases
No Rec1 case
7 cases
25 cases
67 cases
76 cases
1 case
10 cases
35 cases
24 cases
Penalties may include loss of vacation days, suspension, probation, or termination.
The officer may be warned or lose up to 10 vacation days.
The officer is retrained in proper procedures.
The CCRB recommended charges in 175 cases, command discipline in 70 cases, and instructions in 12 cases.
Of the 175 cases in which the CCRB recommended an officer be charged (the most serious level of discipline), the NYPD only sought charges in 7. Officers received no discipline in 76 of these cases.
The CCRB recommended command discipline in 70 cases. In 35 of these cases, the officer was only given instructions. Officers received no discipline in 24 such cases.
In 2012 overall, the NYPD followed the CCRB's recommendation in only 25 out 258 cases (9.7%). Officers received no discipline in 104 cases (40.3%).
There are several reasons why an officer may not be disciplined despite a substantiated complaint referred by the CCRB, but most often the department simply dismisses the case without taking disciplinary action.
The NYPD has dropped a much higher percentage of cases in recent years, jumping from 3.3% in 2006 to 34.4% in 2007.
The CCRB recommended...
The NYPD chose...

Police Punishment: CCRB vs NYPD