BuzzFeed News is making public what they say is one of the New York Police Department’s most fiercely guarded secrets: a database of disciplinary findings for about 1,800 NYPD employees who faced departmental misconduct charges between 2011 and 2015.
This information has been closely guarded for years, and completely off-limits since 2016, when the NYPD removed them from public view, citing a controversial state law that shields police officers’ misconduct.
As a result, New Yorkers who are charged with a crime have no simple way to find out if the officer who arrested them has a misconduct record that might affect their credibility with a jury.
And taxpayers as a whole have no way to assess how their police department is policing its own.
The files were provided by a source who requested anonymity. Their legitimacy was verified through more than 100 calls to NYPD employees, visits to officers’ homes, interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers, and a review of thousands of pages of court records.
These documents formed the basis of our investigation, published last month, which identified at least 319 NYPD employees who had committed offenses serious enough to merit firing but who were allowed to keep their jobs.
This database covers a wide range of offenses, from showing up late to work, to drunk driving, to holding a handcuffed prisoner down while another officer stomped on the person’s head.