The New York Police Department wants the Civilian Complaint Review Board to reveal individual votes whenever accusations against police officers are substantiated, in an effort to be more transparent.
According to the New York Daily News, the request by the department was made at the board’s last public meeting.
The request by the NYPD also raised questions among some board members.
“The reason I’m a little bit reluctant, what we do is analogous to deliberating,” board member Bennett Capers, a mayoral appointee, said at the meeting. “And the tradition of juries deliberating is they deliberate in secrecy. There’s a long tradition behind that. So, I’d be sort of reluctant to sort of break with the tradition absent a strong reason.”
Richard Emery, the chairman of the CCRD, is a longtime friend of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
When asked about his thoughts on the NYPD request, Emery said he personally didn’t have a problem with the request.
Emery said, “The NYPD didn’t provide a strong reason other than to indicate the department wants to see who is voting which way and if there are patterns in particular cases, how particular board members are voting with respect to different types of allegations.”
Emery also said that if the board voted in favor of the NYPD’s request, people who filed complaints against officers deserve to know how each board member voted.
Under the terms of a 2012 agreement with the NYPD, the CCRB prosecutes most of the cases in which the board recommends that charges be brought against an accused officer.
The CCRB has a 13 member board that includes three NYPD appointees, five City Council appointees, and five mayoral appointees.
Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union, said the NYPD’s request was a ploy to see how the board members appointed by the mayor and City Council are voting.
“It will get used against people,” Dunn said. “And giving it to complainants is no substitute because you give it to a complainant he or she knows how somebody voted in one case. You give it to Commissioner Bratton, and he knows how everybody voted in every case.”
Peter Donald, the NYPD spokesman, said the department is trying “to gain a better understanding of what the board members face in their deliberative process and a clearer sense of how the panels arrive at their decisions.