NYPD plan to change misdemeanor discipline rules will cheer up rogue cops: Queens County President

The plan to change recently adopted rules on how NYPD officers should be punished for misconduct will only encourage cheaters, the Queens County President said.

The move “would undermine public confidence in the NYPD while at the same time encouraging officers with an existing tendency to not follow due process,” Queens County President Donovan Richards said in a letter sent Saturday to Police Commissioner Kichant Sewell.

Richards chaired the Committee of Public Safety during his time as a council member and championed legislation that led in 2020 to the creation of the NYPD’s “disciplinary matrix” that provides a framework for punishing police officers for varying levels of error and wrongdoing.

Police and NYPD union leaders have complained for years that the internal disciplinary system is arbitrary and unfair, but now many say the Matrix is ​​the way Board members punish cops in line with their political agendas.

Sewell said in an internal memo in mid-December that she had reduced or eliminated fines recommended by the Citizens Complaints Review Board or NYPD judges in at least 70 cases.

The reduction in fines “contradicts ongoing efforts by the NYPD, elected officials and others to improve police-community relations and build trust,” Donovan complained in his letter to Sewall.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell

In a memo released last month, Sewell called some of the punishments “clearly unfair” to officers and said she was not shielding officers from “meaningful discipline” but rather trying to avoid undue punishment for mistakes made in good faith and under stress. .

Starting this month, Sewall said at the time, the NYPD will offer a revised matrix that will allow fines to be “properly calibrated.”

On Monday, the NYPD had no word on the amendments or how they would be made available to the public for review. It also made no comment on the letter or whether Sewall had read it.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr.

“The creation of the Matrix was historic and unprecedented. [incumbent] against us that we are following the protocols he has set,” Richards wrote. “That’s why any proposal to nullify the matrix is ​​a major concern.”

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