I.               INTRODUCTION

A.            Overview

On June 21, 2018, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill appointed an Independent Panel to conduct a review of the internal disciplinary system of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD” or the “Department”) and to propose recommendations to improve it. The Panel consists of the Honorable Mary Jo White, its chair; the Honorable Robert L. Capers; and the Honorable Barbara S. Jones.[1] The Panel was given 120 days to complete its work; at the Panel’s request, the completion deadline was extended to the week of January 21, 2019.

To carry out its mandate, the Panel surveyed Department policies and procedures governing how internal discipline cases are initiated, prosecuted, and resolved. It also examined the work of the entities that are centrally involved in the disciplinary process, including the Department Advocate’s Office (“DAO”), which is situated within the NYPD, and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (“CCRB”), an independent, external agency, as well as the decision making of the Police Commissioner in disciplinary cases. This Report summarizes the Panel’s work, findings, and recommendations.

The Panel has conducted its review independently. It did not establish an attorney-client relationship with the Department. Neither the Commissioner nor anyone else at the Department directed the Panel’s investigation or determined its focus. The Panel provided this Report to the Commissioner on January 25, 2019, with notice that it would be released to the public on or about February 1, 2019. Neither the Commissioner nor anyone else at the Department was afforded an opportunity to edit or revise the Report prior to its release. No third party received an advance copy of the Report or was shown or read any portion of it. The Panel was not compensated.

During the course of its review, the Panel received the Department’s full cooperation and was given full access to all requested documents and information. The Department made available all individuals whom the Panel sought to interview. On several occasions, the Department also responded to written questions, providing complete answers that often required input from multiple personnel and offices within the Department.[2]

[1] Mary Jo White is the Senior Chair of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; she formerly served as Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Robert L. Capers is co-leader of Arent Fox LLP’s Government Enforcement and White Collar practice; he is the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Barbara Jones is a partner at Bracewell LLP; she served as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for 16 years and before that as Chief Assistant to the District Attorney of New York County. Panel members were supported by other lawyers and staff from their respective firms.

[2] The Panel is especially grateful to Ann Prunty, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Legal Matters, for her assistance in responding to requests.