New York City’s police department closes down the type of plainclothes anti-crime units, whom were involved in some of the city’s most notorious police shootings including the death of Eric Garner in 2014.
Calling is a “seismic shift” in police culture; the commissioner will reassign about 600 officers from teams that target violent crime.
The officers, spread out across the city and work out of the department’s 77 precincts, will be reassigned to duties such as detective bureau and the department’s neighborhood policing initiative.
Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said that the unit is part of an outdated policing model that too often seemed to pit officers against the communities they served.
“This is a seismic shift in the culture of how the N.Y.P.D. polices this great city,” he said. “It will be felt immediately in the communities that we protect.”
The change comes after the nationwide cries over police brutality, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a black man who was killed when a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
An executive order that would set up a database for tracking police officers who have complaints about excessive use of force in their records is expected to be signed Tuesday, says senior administration official.
The official says the administration aims to keep officers with complaints in their record from moving from one police department to the next.
The order also plans to establish a national credentialing system that would give police departments a financial incentive to adopt best practices on, including the use of deadly force and prohibiting the use of chokeholds, unless deadly force is required in a given situation.
The official also says that in some cities, training materials “are not using the most modern standards,” and that they expect the major law enforcement trade groups back their efforts.