NYC Officials to Subpoena Health Department for Unreleased ‘Report on Police Killings'

An unpublished 2017 report by the city's health department found police-involved deaths were significantly underreported, former Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett told The New York Times

Police Officer wearing body camera
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Two New York City Council members will subpoena the city's health department for a report that "purportedly shows more police-involved deaths in New York City than has been previously reported."

Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Oversight and Investigations Chair Ritchie Torres made the announcement Saturday following an op-ed from The New York Times that details an unpublished 2017 report by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The report, according to the Times, and overseen by former New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, found the city significantly underreported deaths "at the hands of police."

Bassett's team reportedly found 105 people killed by police or police activity during a five year period. The number of deaths identified by the health department was more than double what was publicly reported, the op-ed's author says.

Johnson and Torres are demanding the full report as well as an explanation as to why the findings of the health department's study were not released to the public.

"The Council rarely issues subpoenas. But given the seriousness of DOHMH withholding information about unreported police-involved deaths, the Speaker and I concluded that we have been left with no other choice," Torres said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the mayor says de Blasio was only made away of the report a few weeks ago.

“Dr. Bassett sat on this information for five years and only told the mayor a few weeks ago. He immediately responded to her and in the weeks since our Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services has been in touch with her. We are now digging into the findings to determine next steps," spokesperson Freddi Goldstein told Gothamist.

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