Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce that he plans to overhaul oversight of the New York Police Department and centralize its oversight and anti-corruption efforts into a newly empowered Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The initiative — dubbed the ‘Dinkins Plan’ after the late Mayor David Dinkins, whose administration was defined by pitched battles with police unions over the CCRB — would transfer the NYPD’s anti-corruption and inspector general divisions from the control of Police Headquarter to the CCRB in one of the biggest shake-ups of city cop oversight in decades.
That would allow the board to independently launch its own investigations and guarantees its investigators “timely” access to body camera footage and employment records for officers, the mayor’s proposal says.
Hizzoner’s plan would also create a “Patrol Guide Review Committee” that will examine “situations where no misconduct was found because the actions were within policy, but the policy itself was problematic.”
City Hall said poirtions of the copo oversight overhaul would require City Council approval.
De Blasio’s eighth and final State of the City speech, which was only announced hours before its Thursday night presentation, comes amid a devastating pandemic that has killed more than 25,000 people in the five boroughs alone, crippled Gotham’s economy and left long-term annual deficits of $4 billion.
And it follows weeks of massive and sometimes violent protests throughout last summer over policing and criminal justice in New York City, whichsparked brutal caught-on-tape choking death of George Floyd beneath the knee of a Minneapolis cop.
The Department of Investigation and state Attorney General Letitia James both issued blistering reports over the tactics used by the NYPD to police the protests, including revealing that officers often ‘kettled’ protestors despite years of promises cops had stopped utilizing the strategy.
City Hall’s lawyers issued their own report in late December that pointed to vitriolic anti-cop threats and remarks made by protestors and stresses from the coronavirus pandemic as contributing factors to the clashes.
The oversight overhaul is one of a bevy of proposals that de Blasio will lay out during his Thursday night speech that will also include revamping and expanding the narrow bike lanes on the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges.
Additionally, city officials said that de Blasio would announce new vaccination targets for the city, but that those would be dependent on the Biden administration dramatically expanding deliveries.
Currently, the five boroughs are only set to receive 124,000 first doses of the two-shot inoculations per week for the next three weeks.
A State of the City address is typically a lavish affair that involves weeks of planning and is announced days ahead of time.
But this year’s address came with almost no notice until de Blasio during his Thursday morning press briefing, surprising even City Hall insiders.
“Why would you have an event that the press is going to cover and then start it off by pissing off the press,” said one, who pointed out that it wasn’t even on Hizzoner’s daily schedule. “You want this event covered, you want them to know what you’re going to announce — and you didn’t even tell them it was happening.”
“It says a lot about the state of the city,” the person added. “It’s dysfunctional.”