The Police Are Still Putting People In Chokeholds, Also Lying

May 15, 2015 | Liam Mathews

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York City government’s ombudsmen for citizens who claim to have been mistreated by police, released its annual report for 2014 on Thursday. Some notable findings include a high number of complaints about police putting people in chokeholds and filing false official statements.

In July of 2014, Officer Daniel Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a chokehold and killed him. This event was the nadir of a banner year for police using banned chokeholds on suspects during arrests. The CCRB received 232 complaints about police using chokeholds in 2014, the second-highest number since the CCRB was formed in 1993, and only 8 fewer than 2009, the year with the highest on record. The CCRB was able to confirm 6 chokehold complaints in 2014, 1 in the first half of the year and 5 in the second. Through April 2015, an additional 3 have been substantiated. Only two of those allegations took place in 2014. Thus, the CCRB was only able to confirm less than 1% of 2014’s chokehold complaints. Officer Pantaleo denied putting Eric Garner in a chokehold, despite video evidence to the contrary.

Citizens recording arrests led to a rise in cops getting caught lying more often: The CCRB found 26 instances of police giving false statements to investigators, a total equal to the previous 4 years combined. The CCRB found most of these by comparing recordings against officers’ statements and finding them contradictory. False statements given by cops are such offenses as shoving a handcuffed suspect and telling investigators he tripped. Filing false statements is a fireable offense, but the power to discipline falls outside of the CCRB’s jurisdiction.

The full report can be found on nyc.gov.

(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)