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What Should you do if you are being harassed or discriminated against by the New York Police Department (NYPD) or by a NYC Police Officer?
File a Complaint with the New York City Civilian Review Complaint Board (CCRB). Anyone who has knowledge of police misconduct should file a complaint, meaning you don’t necessarily have to be the victim of police misconduct to file the complaint. Further, you don’t need to know the name or the badge number of the officer in question.
You can file a complaint regardless of your age. You do not need to speak English; the CCRB is equipped to accept complaints in any language. You can file a complaint if you are currently incarcerated.
You should come forward with your complaint as soon as possible. Officers who are subjects of substantiated CCRB investigations must be disciplined or served with disciplinary charges within 18 months of the date of the incident. The only exception to the statute of limitations occurs when the alleged misconduct committed by the officer constitutes a crime.
So now you might be wondering why you should file a complaint. Here are some reasons why it is a good idea to file a complaint:
CREATE A RECORD
By filing a complaint, you are making a permanent, official record that will remain on the officer’s history.
CHANGE THE OFFICER’S BEHAVIORS
Filing a complaint at the CCRB can bring about discipline for the officer who commits misconduct. Because your complaint becomes part of an officer’s permanent record, even complaints that are not substantiated can serve to notify police supervisors about potentially abusive officers. Reporting misconduct could prevent others from having similar encounters with the officer.
CHANGE POLICE DEPARTMENT PRACTICES
Complaints that you file can alert police commanders about abusive police practices within their precincts or other commands.
SPEAK DIRECTLY TO THE OFFICER
If you choose to pursue mediation with an officer, you will have the satisfaction of discussing your complaint directly with the officer with whom you interacted.
RECEIVE A FAIR INVESTIGATION
Filing a complaint at the CCRB gives you the opportunity to have your complaint fully and objectively investigated by the CCRB’s impartial civilian investigators.
More information on the complaint process and a link to make an online complaint can be found here:http://www.nyc.gov/html/ccrb/html/contact.html
If you want to learn more about Michael A. Huerta, Attorney and Counselor at Law, or Huerta PLLC, a New York Law Firm, visit http://HuertaPLLC.com