A watchdog report finding that the New York Police Department “lacked a clearly defined strategy” and used excessive force during the summer’s George Floyd protests was an early step in the right direction, criminal justice experts said, but they offered sobering thoughts on what would have to happen next for there to be meaningful change.
The 111-page report, released Friday by New York City’s Department of Investigation, said there were systemic failures in the NYPD response during the protests against the killing of Floyd by Minneapolis police that “went beyond poor judgment or misconduct by some individual officers.” It also offered a series of policy recommendations for the department.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has thanked the Department of Investigation for “20 logical and thoughtful recommendations that I intend to incorporate into our future policy and training.”
But experts said lasting change would take longer and more than policy updates.
“Culture eats policy for breakfast, so there are a lot of things that have to happen for a police agency to change,” said Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina.
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