Daily News: Readers sound off on the NYPD, guns and plastic bags

Cynthia Conti-Cook, LAS Special Litigation Staff Attorney, penned a letter to the editor in the Daily News calling for more police accountability and transparency in response to a recent OpEd from the NYPD Commissioner.

Daily News
Readers sound off on the NYPD, guns and plastic bags
March 6, 2018

NYPD, guns and plastic bags

Manhattan: The epidemic of police perjury among New York’s Finest will require much more than an article in the Daily News from the NYPD commissioner to rightly address (“NYPD Commissioner O’Neill on his zero-tolerance policy for perjury,” Op-Ed, March 3). This is an issue that the Legal Aid Society and other advocates have been raising for years, and this is only just the beginning.

If One Police Plaza truly had a zero-tolerance policy, the department would revert back to disclosing police disciplinary summaries to prove that it’s not sweeping these reprehensible breaches of public trust under the rug.

Shouldn’t taxpayers know about dishonest cops, and if their punishments matched the crime? Wouldn’t we want to know what happens when an officer lies again — was a harsher punishment used the second time? If the number of substantiated complaints has risen 49% since 2013, what was the figure before? The commissioner’s Op-Ed raises more questions than it answers.

This must be more than just a mea culpa in the Sunday paper. Until the accountability for any dishonesty is certain, swift and consistent, officers will continue to lie, exaggerate and “not recall” their way through the department. New York City deserves much, much better.

Cynthia Conti-Cook
Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society
Special Litigation Unit

This article originally appeared in NY Daily News.