By Anna Quinn, Patch Staff
Mar 7, 2019
Park Slope's police are some of the most well behaved in Brooklyn, and maybe even in the city, according to a new database.
The neighborhood's 78th Precinct was one of three throughout Brooklyn that had the least number of lawsuits filed against its cops since 2015, a CAPStat database launched by The Legal Aid society shows.
The three precincts — Park Slope's 78th, Bensonhurst's 62nd and Carroll Gardens' 76th — each had four lawsuits filed during that time period, as compared to as many as 91 federal lawsuits filed against the precinct that landed at the top of the list for both Brooklyn and the entire city, the 75th Precinct in East New York. Only about seven precincts in other parts of the city had less than four lawsuits.
The new online tool tracks, which tracks federal police misconduct lawsuits how much taxpayer money has been spent settling these, aims to spot patterns of misconduct and discipline cops who are repeat offenders, Legal Aid says.
"With today's launch, we join a national movement including fellow defenders, advocates, and community members to shed much needed daylight on police departments and their actions," said Cynthia Conti-Cook, a staff attorney with the Special Litigation Unit in Legal Aid's Criminal Practice.
It will also help the general public "hold the NYPD accountable" for such patterns, which it "routinely ignores," Conti-Cook added.
Among Park Slope's four lawsuits, only two have reached settlements so far, totaling $26,500 in taxpayer money. For comparison, the precincts at the top of the list paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars, or as much as $9.1 million in the 75th precinct's case.
Both settled lawsuits, one for $25,000 and one for $1,500, involved traffic stops or tickets. In one, an African-American man was arrested but later acquitted after asking an officer "don't have nothing better to do?" when he saw him putting a ticket on his friend's car. In the other, another man was picking a friend up from the airport when he was stopped and charged with "operating outside of the lane" though no crime had been committed, records show.
Read more about the database and how it works here.