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NYPD Conducted 180 Bad Searches and Seizures Over 6-Year Stretch, CCRB Says

By Trevor Kapp | March 1, 2016 12:18pm | Updated on March 1, 2016 3:31pm
 The CCRB found a pattern of bad searches and seizures over a six-year stretch.
The CCRB found a pattern of bad searches and seizures over a six-year stretch.
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Flickr/Linus Henning

MIDTOWN — The NYPD conducted 180 unjustified home searches — mostly during early morning hours — over a six-year stretch that seriously added to the erosion of the public’s perception of the department, the Civilian Complaint Review Board found.

The analysis focused on 1,762 complaints against the NYPD from January 2010 to October 2015 and examined “recurring practices and misapplication of the law” that led to civil liberties and privacy violations, the CCRB said in a report released late Monday.

“Intrusion into people’s homes is among the most serious violations of basic constitutional protections and really a basic human right,” CCRB Board Chair Richard Emery said.

Home searches were often chaotic and perilous to both civilians and officers even when done lawfully, the report found.

Improper searches typically occurred for two reasons: officers’ misunderstanding of the grounds that would justify a warrantless entry or the improper use of outdated warrants.

“Police legitimacy is damaged and community relations suffer when officers act unlawfully, especially when they cross the threshold of a person’s home,” CCRB Executive Director Mina Malik said.

The CCRB has advised the department to expand its use of body cameras during home entries to provide more evidence for when search complaints arise. The board also recommended the department expand its use of the consent form and expand its patrol guide to include a section on home entries and searches.

NYPD officials on Tuesday said the number of substantiated complaints accounted for a small chunk of the number of executed search warrants, but said they would review the board's finding nonetheless.

"The number of substantiated Civilian Complaint Review Board complaints represents one tenth of one percent of the search warrants this department conducted during the same period of the CCRB's review," the NYPD said in an email to DNAinfo on Tuesday.

"During that period, the Department carried out roughly 15,000 search warrants from 2010 to 2015, during which the department drove crime to new record lows."