MANHATTA — Complaints about the NYPD's use of banned chokeholds has doubled since 2001 and more than 150 incidents were misclassified, a study from the Civilian Complaint Review Board found.
The CCRB called for better data sharing between the agency and police and better officer training to enforce the NYPD’s prohibition after the agency found “troubling data” that chokehold complaints are increasing.
The CCRB looked back at 1,128 complaints from the past five and a half years after the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island in July, the agency said in a statement.
The study found, in part, that the agency received the highest number of chokehold complaints so far this year since 2001, when four out of every 100 use of force complaints were filed as chokehold complaints, compared to eight out of every 100 filed between July 2013 to June 2014, according to the CCRB.
“Unilateral action is not enough. If there is one lesson to be learned from this study, one lesson that may even save lives, it is the need for a coordinated plan of action between the Civilian Complaint Review Board and the NYPD,” CCRB chairman Richard Emery said.
The report also found there were 156 chokehold incidents that were not properly classified by the CCRB. The agency blames "degraded interpretations of the Patrol Guide chokehold prohibition" that were used by some of the CCRB's investigative teams.
Half of the officers identified in chokehold complaints had six or more CCRB complaints, were among the other findings.
Precincts in East New York and Brownsville had the highest number of complaints.
And in more than 60 percent of chokehold cases three or more officers were listed in the complaint.
The report proposed an “inter-agency working group” to better analyze data collected with the NYPD to identify officers, precincts and commands at risk of chokehold incidents.
The CCRB also called for “redefining and expanding the chokehold prohibition,” training officers to use alternative methods to subdue suspects and reaching an understanding with the NYPD on appropriate discipline.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association criticized the report before it was officially published on Sept. 29.
“Any report based on unsworn, unsubstantiated and poorly investigated complaints that were filed by criminals is totally meaningless,” PBA president Pat Lynch said in a statement.