The protests against police brutality in New York City generated their own conflict and controversy. This centered on allegations by various parties against the NYPD for mishandling security for the demonstrations.
The investigations into police misconduct face a unique set of challenges. Sources close to the issue say this is due to a combination of remote working, non-cooperation and identification challenges.
A challenging situation
Even in the best situation, pursuing and substantiating a case of police brutality might face resistance from within the NYPD. In the case of the George Floyd protests, there are additional factors at work:
- Around 450 protesters are taking legal action
- Hundreds of misconduct cases remain open
- Many officers have not even had interviews
- Leadership was not able to quickly determine deployment details
These complications would each be a challenge on their own. Together, they add up to a situation that could potentially delay justice or prevent it altogether.
A questionable level of cooperation
Understandably, the NYPD is under pressure from various parties about the way it handled this situation. Among these are a New York State Attorney and a Queens City Council member.
As for the police department, the Police Commissioner stated that many officers sustained injuries and that demonstrators vandalized several police cars. Comments were not readily available regarding how many protesters were facing charges, in jail or under investigation for these alleged crimes against person and property.
Police officers have considerable power and authority. However, citizens also have power through the exercise of their civil rights. Part of protecting those rights is ensuring that misconduct and police violence is never, under any circumstances, an acceptable practice.