NYPD Considering New Effort to Investigate Police-Involved Shootings

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 25: New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks at a news conference where he discussed the arrest of three Brooklyn men who allegedly plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS on February 25, 2015 in New York City. The men, two Uzbekistan citizens and a 19-year-old Kazakhstan citizen,all lived in Brooklyn and were corresponding with the terrorist group over social media. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Staten Island Advance reports that the NYPD is exploring the idea of creating a unit charged with investigating incidents of police officers shooting civilians. It would likely be modeled on the “Force Investigation Division” started by New York police commissioner Bill Bratton when he headed the Los Angeles Police Department. Several other units, inside and outside the NYPD, are already tasked with investigating these shootings, but a police source told the New York Daily News that this squad would “centralize the reporting and investigating of firearms discharged by uniformed members of the service.”

When the Force Investigation Division was first created in 2004, the Los Angeles Times wrote that it was designed to appease critics who said the LAPD, “in investigating shootings, seeks to justify officers’ use of force rather than assemble an impartial account of what happened.”

There is no question that we must ensure the highest-quality investigation possible in these critical events,” Bratton said at the time, responding to a federal report showing deficiencies in how the department assessed the use of deadly force. “These investigations must withstand the strictest possible scrutiny from multiple sources.”

There are no official tallies of how many people are killed by the police every year.

NYPD to Create Unit Investigating Cop Shootings