More than 500 complaints filed regarding police misconduct at George Floyd protests

Protest against the death of African-American man George Floyd, in New York
Police officers detained Crown Heights State Senator Zellnor Myrie during the May 29 “I can’t breathe” vigil and rally in Brooklyn.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, an independent agency that investigates reports of police misconduct, has logged more than 500 complaints related to the George Floyd protests during six days — nearly exceeding the number of complaints the board received throughout all of April. 

A spokesman for the agency said that the board has received 523 complaints regarding incidents at the protests during the six day stretch between May 29 and the afternoon of June 3 — which is only 10 complaints shy of the 533 reports the watchdog agency received during all of April, according to its May report

The report shows an overall decline, however, in the amount of complaints filed with the CCRB compared to previous years. 

In May of 2019, the review board received a whopping 1,040 complaints regarding allegations of excessive force, abuse of authority, discourtesy, and offensive language by police — which is several hundred more than are filed in recent months. 

A spokesman for the board declined to give more specifics on the complaints and where in the Five Boroughs they took place.

The New York Police Department’s actions have drawn fierce scrutiny as protests against police brutality spurred by the police killing of George Floyd have swept the city in the past week.

Footage has surfaced online in the past week of police cruisers plowing into a crowd of protesters in Prospect Heights, macing and handcuffing state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, pepper-spraying his assembly colleague Diana Richardson, an officer pulling down a man’s face mask, and another cop shoving a young woman to the curb, causing her to suffer a seizure

In addition to the independent review, Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a separate probe by two of his appointees, the city’s Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson and Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett, while Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state’s Attorney General Letitia James to investigate some of the incidents too

NYPD’s own Internal Affairs office is also looking into misconduct, but the police’s press office did not reply to repeated requests for comment about how many complaints it has received.

For information about how to log a complaint if you experience or witness police misconduct, click here.