Citing a litany of scandals, including ticket-fixing in the Bronx, evidence tampering and gun-running in Brooklyn, drug-planting in Staten Island and unlawful surveillance activity, a handful of city and state lawmakers called on Mayor Bloomberg to appoint an independent commission to investigate corruption within the New York Police Department.
“These revelations shock the conscience and demand action,” said Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Assemblyman who was joined by Council members Tish James and Jumaane Williams and state Senator Eric Adams at a morning press conference at 1 Police Plaza.
Mr. Jeffries sent a letter to the mayor urging him “to investigate systematic corruption within the New York Police Department” in light of the “parade of police corruption scandals that have recently erupted throughout New York City.”
The lawmakers noted that there is mayoral precedent for the appointment of an independent commission, citing the 1970 Knapp Commission appointed by John Lindsay and the 1992 Mollen Commission appointed by David Dinkins.
“It is imperative that a commission be created so that the integrity of the NYPD can be restored,” said State Senator Eric Adams, who also served in the NYPD. “The establishment of a commission is a win-win for all. It will restore the faith of the general public in the NYPD and will afford the thousands of stellar police personnel to hold their heads high.”
The legislators called for the commission to be independent and, “vested with subpoena power to compel testimony and examine potentially incriminating documents. A public report should be filed that contains detailed recommendations on the best ways to ferret out corruption and prevent its reoccurrence.”
Assemblyman Jeffries added at the press conference, “I remain confident that the majority of police officers on the force are law-abiding citizens. But there is a culture of the corruption in the police department that is festering like a cancer and can no longer be ignored.”