A Civil Rights Attorney’s View on the Chokehold Report

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Police Commissioner Bratton has missed a golden opportunity to increase transparency. It is clear that, when it comes to disciplining officers, the NYPD only answers to itself. The “chokehold report” reveals what we already know: don’t expect the NYPD to adopt any disciplinary actions handed down by any agency, court or entity outside of the NYPD family. Additionally, this report reveals the CCRB has neither ‘bark’ nor ‘bite’.

Police Commissioner Bratton failed to seize the moment to acknowledge that misconduct by police officers ought to result in a strict penalty. For example if an officer uses a chokehold in a non-life or death scenario, he or she should be subject to an automatic suspension of a certain number of days. If the chokehold is truly prohibited then there should be no discussion as to disciplining “Right”, Wrong.

Is there no unequivocal scenario where Police are liable for their actions? A “chokehold” case should be one. Commissioner Bratton could have easily stated that chokeholds are forbidden and you will be held strictly liable if it is used. He could have said that, unlike his predecessors, he will not only consider what CCRB has recommended as to discipline but their recommendation would only be the starting point. That is what New York’s communities of color want to hear, because we know none of the small sample size utilized in this new report, with the same old information, consist of anyone else but people of color.
When will someone besides lawyers, courts, and Civil Rights groups such as the ACLU, NAN, Justice League, Color for Change, and others seek accountability from the NYPD?

For once, can all the politics be put to the side and let what is right be done? To save lives, rather than makes excuses for the lost of life.
Commissioner, you don’t need a bulletproof vest for this one.

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