Complaints against the NYPD have hit a five-year high, spiking nearly 20% since last year — further evidence of the simmering “anti-cop sentiment” pervading the city, according to police sources.
The Civilian Complaint Review Board — the city’s police oversight agency — logged a total of 5,236 complaints in fiscal year 2019, compared to 4,392 the previous year, according to the 2019 Mayor’s Management Report released Tuesday.
While Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to spin the spike as a sign of “deepening” police-community relations, police sources and union officials said the complaints are proof the city is sliding into lawlessness.
“Remember, this year there’s all the anti-cop sentiment,” one source said, pointing to the recent spate of water-bucket dousings.
“People know that it’s an easy way to get a lawsuit. They see all these advertisements that they can make money if they’ve been stopped by cops,” the source added of the complaints.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch took aim at the CCRB.
“CCRB has been working overtime to manufacture exactly this scenario,” fumed Lynch.
“It’s no surprise to us that complaints are up. The board has defied court orders and the City Charter to unlawfully solicit complaints based on flimsy evidence, all so that it can justify expanding its own power and budget.”
Just 226 complaints against 326 police officers were sustained in 2018, according to board data. It has not released numbers for 2019.
De Blasio claimed Wednesday the uptick was good for community-police relations.
“I do want to say a more active and engaged CCRB by definition means more people report their concerns, and that’s ultimately going to help us to have the right relationship between police and community,” Hizzoner said.
An NYPD spokesman said the Right to Know Act — which went into effect halfway through the last fiscal year and requires cops to carry and hand out business cards — has also contributed to more reports of cop misconduct.