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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

NYPD - Historical and Current Research: Police Misconduct and Abuse

This is a guide mainly focusing on the history of the NYPD, but modern sources are covered too. By Ellen Belcher

Subject headings and keywords

Selected Books & Reports on Police Misconduct

Ralph, L. (2020). The torture letters : Reckoning with police violence. E-Book & Stacks HV8148.C52 R35 2020

Human Rights Watch (2020)..“Kettling” protesters in the Bronx : systematic police brutality and its costs in the United States.

Selected Books Police Abolition

Vitale, A. (2017). The end of policing. Stacks HV8139 .V58 2017

Williams, K. (2007)  Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America Stacks HV8138 .W615 2007 Link 2017 edition on googlebooks

MPD150 has compiled a list of abolition resources "...we wanted to share more resources and readings. Books, articles, essays, news items, toolkits, and much more—the following list includes writing from the post-uprising, latter-half of 2020, alongside older pieces and foundational texts too. We hope it can be useful."

Firearms Discharge Assault Reports

The NYPD Firearms Discharge Assault Reports were created as a response to Department Order SOP 9 (s. 69) - they are produced by the NYPD Police Academy Firearms and Tactics Section. These reports were discussed recently in the NY Times and obtained by the NY-ACLU from the NYPD by FOIL. See also: The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015 and 2016.

John Jay has these reports in paper form from 1986-2009, most of which were acquired as part of the James Fyfe Papers and some from the Louis Anemone Papers and the Philip McGuire Papers. We also have PDF versions available for research purposes upon request. Some are also available from the NYC and NY-ACLU websites. The NYPD aggregated some of the data from these reports 1971-2010 in charts they titled NYPD Shooting Restraint.

1997 Firearms Discharge Assault Report on the NY-ACLU website

1998 Firearms Discharge Assault Repor on the NY-ACLU website

1999 Firearms Discharges on the NY-ACLU website

2000 Firearms Discharges on the NY-ACLU website

2001 Firearms Discharge Report on the NY-ACLU website

2002 Firearms Discharge Assault Report on the NY-ACLU website

2003 Firearms Discharge Report on the NY-ACLU website

2004 Firearms Discharge Assault Report on the NY-ACLU website

2005 Firearms Discharge Assault Report on the NY-ACLU website

2006 Firearms Discharge Report on the NY-ACLU website

2007 Annual Firearms Discharge Report on the NYC website

2009 Annual Firearms Discharge Report on the NYC website

2010 Annual Firarms Discharge Report on the NYC website

2011 Annual Firearms Discharge Report on the NYcwebsite

Dr. James Fyfe was a professor at John Jay College and held various positions in the NYPD, and a was specialist in the use of excessive force by Police. Here's a selection of his articles mentioning these reports.

Use of Force. James J. Fyfe. Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement. Ed. Larry E. Sullivan, M. R. Haberfeld, Marie Simonetti Rosen, and Dorothy Moses Schulz. Vol. 1: State and Local Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference, 2005. p478-481.

 Fyfe, James J. (1981). Who Shoots? A look at officer race and police shooting. Journal Of Police Science & Administration, 9(4), 367-382.

See also:

Evaluation of the New York City Police Department firearm training and firearm-discharge review process. Rand Corporation 2008. Special Collections or Reference - HV8148 .N52 E83 2008 also available as an ebook here and free to everyone

Selected Articles

Try searching Academic Search Complete and Criminal Justice Abstracts together on the keywords NYPD and [Abuse or Misconduct or Corruption]

Articles, Blogs, other resources

Derek Willis, D.  Eric Umansky, E. and Moiz Syed. M. (July 26, 2020),The NYPD Files - Search Thousands of Civilian Complaints Against New York City Police Officers ProPublica

Kaba, M (June 12, 2020) Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police The New York Times - a corrected version is available as a printable zine

Federal Investigations of Police Corruption

Many federal commissions and committees were officially crime commissions, but their reports included recommendations related to police corruption of the NYPD and other police agencies.
US Congressional Hearings 
1984 Report on hearings in New York City on police misconduct : conducted by the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, second session Reference - HV8148 .N52 U53 1984
related: NYPD (1983) Report on cases submitted during Congressional hearings on alleged police brutality Reference - HV7597 .A62 1983
Wickersham Commission 1928 -1931
U.S. President Herbert Hoover created and charged this commission in 1929, the official name of which was The National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, on May 20th, 1929. Former Attorney General George W. Wickersham headed the 11-member group charged with identifying the causes of criminal activity and to make recommendations for appropriate public policy. The commission published several reports:
Reports Reference Law - KF9223 .A845 1931a
John Jay owns the microfilm edition of the Records of the Wickersham Commission on 15 reels of microfilm Special Collections HV7419 .R4 1996
United States Commission of Civil Rights 2000

United States Commission on Civil Rights.: Police practices and civil rights in New York City [Washington, D.C. : U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2000]. Stacks - HV8148 .N52 U52 2000 also available in digital copy

NYPD response to the draft report of the United States Commission on Civil Rights--Police practices and civil rights in New York City : executive summary.  [New York, N.Y. : Police Dept., City of New York, 2000?]. Special Collections - HV8148 .N5 N47 2000a