USA

NYPD won’t discipline cops who skip CCRB’s police-brutality video hearings

The city’s police watchdog has asked the NYPD to discipline cops who follow their unions’ advice by skipping misconduct hearings — but the department has refused to get involved, The Post has learned.

Police unions have told their members to not appear for video interviews when Civilian Complaint Review Board investigators are working remotely, arguing the video could be used against officers.

The standoff comes as the mayor promises police reforms and touts the shifting of funds from the NYPD to other agencies in the city budget.

On Monday a trio of cops is expected to testify about accusations of misconduct — including one cop who was captured on video allegedly throwing up a white-supremacy sign — during the George Floyd protests, law enforcement sources told The Post.

Officers’ resistance to video interviews has led to a backlog of cases — with one law enforcement source remarking that the unions have been “itchy for a fight” and expected the feud to end up before a judge if they two sides can’t come to an agreement.

Police sources told The Post the watchdog agency had asked the NYPD this past week to suspended cops if they continue to blow off the video interviews.

The unions argue that most of their members have had to go into work during the pandemic and CCRB investigators should have to as well — arguing that the CCRB should stop working remotely as the city enters Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan Monday.

“If they can’t produce an investigator, then I’m not doing it,” said Lou Turco, the president of the Lieutenants Benevolent Association, calling for CCRB employees to be suspended if they don’t appear.

“They are putting the health of their membership ahead of my membership, because we are only cops,” Turco said.

The head of the Detectives Endowment Association added Paul DiGiacomo denied that cops were “blowing off” interviews.

DiGiacomo added, “the idea that CCRB investigators can sit in the comfort of their air-conditioned homes and conduct a ‘virtual’ interview with a detective, who’s at work in his or her command trying to maintain law and order in this city, is disrespectful and insulting.”

But a spokesman for the police watchdog agency said cop safety is exactly why the CCRB made the shift with limited space in their officers to conduct in-person interviews while social distancing.

“The fact that so many public servants — police officers, CCRB personnel, and others — have suffered because of COVID-19 is exactly why the CCRB and NYPD agreed to do virtual interviews in the first place,” the spokesman said.

“We will continue to do our jobs while making every effort to protect the health of our investigators, civilians, and NYPD officers.”

On Monday, as the city moves in the next stage of reopening, three officers are set to appear before the agency — one who was filmed flashed a white supremacist hand sign, another who arrested a Huffington Post reporter and a third who hit a bicyclist with a nightstick near Cadman Plaza on June 3, according to sources.

The Police Benevolent Association, which represents the cops set to appear, did not respond for comment.

Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed on Thursday that the disciplinary process would continue soon.

“The disciplinary process within the NYPD we’ll be resuming soon like everything else in the world it was on hold because of coronavirus, it’s going to be resuming, and then you will see for yourself the results,” de Blasio said.

The NYPD confirmed it would not discipline cops who skip video hearings.

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