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Who can file a police misconduct complaint?

It seems like you can't turn on the television or read a newspaper these days without seeing information about a police misconduct matter. Some of these instances are downright frightening as they may involve police shooting innocent civilians. You might not think something like this could happen to you or a loved one, but if you or someone you know becomes the victim of police misconduct, you are well within your right to file a complaint.

The New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) is an independent organization that the city has charged with the responsibility of receiving, investigating, prosecuting, mediating, hearing and acting upon civilian complaints against the New York City Police Department. New York residents have the right to make complaints to the CCRB if they have witnessed or been victimized by unnecessary police force, discourtesy, abuse of authority or the use of language considered offensive.

Feel free to file a police misconduct case, even if:

-- You are any age;

-- You speak any language;

-- You are incarcerated or in jail;

-- You are an undocumented immigrant. The CCRB will not ask any questions regarding your immigration or citizenship status; and

-- You don't know the badge number or name of the officer that you're complaining about.

In addition to filing a complaint with the CCRB, if you've suffered serious injury as a result of police misconduct or excessive use of force by an officer, you may want to look into whether you can file a personal injury claim for financial compensation in civil court. If successfully navigated, such a claim could bring you money to pay for medical care and other damages stemming from the misconduct that hurt you.

Source: New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, "Complaints," accessed April 27, 2017

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