Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
Seventy-four cases of alleged NYPD misconduct will not be fully prosecuted because those cases have exceeded the 18-month statue of limitations in February.
The Civilian Complain Review Board, which reviews all cases filed by civilians against the police, said in a board meeting this week that Sandy was partly to blame for delaying its investigations. It also blamed a hiring freeze, which has recently been lifted.
Last year 12 cases in February hit the statute of limitations. The number of cases that hit the statue of limitations last year, which would have resulted in disciplinary charges was 17.
Chris Dunn, the Associate Legal director at the New York Civil Liberties Union, says these are cases that need to be investigated.
“In just 12 months there's been a six-fold increase [in cases] and we're now facing a situation where, many officers who may have been disciplined before for having mistreated and abused civilians, will be able to walk away,” Dunn said. “We're now facing a situation where many officers who may have been disciplined before for having mistreated and abused civilians, will be able to walk away.”
The CCRB received more than 5,000 complaints last year.
Even when a case hits the statute of limitations, however, the CCRB continues to investigate it, and the findings will still end up in the officer’s police file.
In 2011, full CCRB investigations took an average of 279 days to complete and 350 days to completed investigations that resulted in disciplinary charges.