Every now and then, a charge of police brutality hits the headlines. Such was the case when Staten Island police officer Daniel Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a chokehold last Thursday. Garner died. Somebody caught the whole thing on video. There has been much outrage since.
Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing"
But browse through civil court dockets in any of the five borough, and you'll notice that charges of police brutality are common. Many more don't make it to court. Most are phoned in to the NYPD or the Civilian Complaint Review Board. From 2009 to 2013, the department faced 11,334 "force allegations," according to a report by the CCRB. That's more than 2,000 a year. Less than two percent were substantiated.More »