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Decades of NYPD disciplinary records published in online database

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 18:30:53-04

NEW YORK CITY — Investigative journalism website ProPublica released a new database that allows the public to search through disciplinary records of NYPD officers.

The information detailed in the ProPublica database was sealed for decades, until a shift in state law last month.

“We should be permitted to be able to see who it is that's policing us,” State Sen. Jamaal Bailey told PIX11 News in an interview Monday.

The ProPublica database was built after they received information on 12,000 officer complaints that were filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board from 1985 to 2020.

Each officer in the database had at least one allegation against them substantiated.

The database is free, open to the public, and may be searched by officer name, badge number, precinct or type of alleged incident.

“It's a huge step forward in terms of transparency and being able to see disciplinary records of individuals who have a incredibly difficult job,” Senator Bailey explained.

Retired NYPD Detective Oscar Odom III said he believes the ProPublica database “is going to cause police officers to be more reactive than proactive in fear that if they do something that may cost them their job, they could be suspended, they could lose their pension — which is their livelihood.”

Shortly after ProPublic requested records, the CCRB was sued by a coalition of police unions. The judge in the case issued a temporary restraining order drastically limiting the release of any further police records.

In a statement to PIX11 News, the coalition of New York City police unions said “ProPublica was obviously given documents containing unproven and unsubstantiated allegations, violating the due process rights of police officers."