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PBA Shield

John Nuthall


March 13, 2018

PBA lawsuit challenges CCRB's bold-faced power grab

CCRB grants itself the authority to initiate investigations without a complainant based on
unauthenticated YouTube videos 
among many other outrageous self-granted powers

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA) today filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court against the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) which has inappropriately granted itself powers that far exceed those established by the City Charter.

PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said: 

“The CCRB has always been infected with an anti-police bias, and has never lived up to its responsibility under the City Charter to conduct ‘complete, thorough and impartial’ investigations of civilian complaints ‘in a manner in which the public and police department have confidence.’ But these recent rule changes are a bold-faced power grab to create a CCRB regime that is more abusive to police officers than ever before.

“Through their internal rule-making and resolutions, the CCRB has illegally vested itself with the authority to initiate investigations when no complaint has been made by a member of the public or to pursue complaints when the statute of limitations has expired, just to name two examples that clearly exceed their Charter powers.

 “This is not just a case of mission-creep, it is a flat-out violation of the City Charter, existing laws and of legislative mandates.  Furthermore, the CCRB seeks to undermine the authority of the Police Commissioner who is, under law, the arbiter of police discipline by requiring him to submit his decisions for their ‘reconsideration’ and by eliminating the required presence of an NYPD designee when hearing charges against an officer. 

“The CCRB is an agency comprised of such anti-police personnel, that they will stop at nothing, they will violate any law and they will bend any rule just to penalize police officers who have the toughest and most dangerous job in the City. Based upon their own published statistics, nearly 94 percent of CCRB complaints do not result in any finding of wrongdoing by the police officer.  But these baseless complaints have a real and painful impact on the falsely accused police officer. Still, the CCRB refuses to have complaints sworn to under penalty of law while they are quick to remind police officers that lying to them can result in dismissal. The deck was already stacked before these illegal rules were adopted and so, we are asking the court to level it out.”

Below is a list of the specific resolutions self implemented by the CCRB that the PBA is challenging in court.

See legal filing

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The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) is the largest municipal police union in the nation and represents nearly 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.