The Legal Aid Society’s CAPstat – a database containing publically available information culled from Federal civil rights lawsuits brought against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for misconduct – released an analysis today of its data showing that NYPD officers who work the most overtime are sued at higher rates. Combining payroll data for fiscal years 2015-2018 with Federal lawsuit data from January 2015 to June 2018, CAPstat found that there is a significant positive correlation between NYPD officers who work the most overtime and the number of lawsuits filed against them. It does not appear that this is a result of officers simply working more or being forced to perform overtime, since a similar correlation was not found when comparing officers’ average regular yearly hours to the number of lawsuits filed against them.
As demonstrated in the following graph, 78 officers had five or more Federal lawsuits filed against them from January 2015 to June 2018. Those officers averaged 406 hours of overtime per year, as compared to the 214 hours for officers who had no known Federal lawsuits filed against them.
“These data show that the Department allows its officers to rake in unlimited overtime without much concern for the lawsuits filed against them by New Yorkers alleging misconduct,” said Julie Ciccolini, Analyst with the Special Litigation Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “Our analysis makes it apparent once again that providing a monetary motivation to make arrests will result in more abusive and unconstitutional policing.
Some notable examples from CAPstat of NYPD officers who continue to accrue significant overtime – and sometimes promotions - despite multiple allegations of civil rights violations:
- Detective Waliur Rahman averaged 607 hours of yearly overtime in fiscal years 2015-2017, which ranks in the 97th percentile for a Second Grade Detective. He was also named in 12 lawsuits in that time period, costing the City $182,500 in settlements. Nevertheless, he was still promoted to a First Grade Detective in Fiscal Year 2018, and has been sued two more times since then.
- Sergeant Adan Munoz averaged 430 hours of yearly overtime during fiscal years 2014-2017, which ranks in the 86th percentile for a Sergeant. He simultaneously accumulated 16 lawsuits, costing the City $910,001 in settlements.
- Sergeant Juan Ortiz averaged 501 hours of yearly overtime from fiscal years 2015-2017, which ranks in the 97th percentile for average overtime hours for a Sergeant. He was also sued 11 times in those three years, resulting in almost $148,501 in settlements.
- Francesco Allevato made 423 hours of overtime in Fiscal Year 2015, which ranked in the 89th percentile for a Police Officer. He was also sued six times in 2015 for a total of $566,000 in settlements. Nevertheless, he was promoted to a Third Grade Detective around September 2016, and has since been sued six more times while averaging 460 hours of overtime a year.
- Sergeant David Grieco has consistently been in the top 99% of overtime earners in his rank for fiscal years 2015-2017. Greico made the second most overtime for a police officer in FY 2016, and was promoted to a third grade detective in FY 2017, when he made the sixth-most overtime out of all third grade detectives. Despite the fact that he was sued 12 times in that three-year span, for a total of $154,500 in settlements so far, he was again promoted to Sergeant in FY 2018.
CAPstat was created to show how transparency can improve the public’s collective ability to identify trends in misconduct and to advocate for reform. The database highlights the amount of taxpayer money spent towards settling repeated incidents of police misconduct that the City has failed to properly track and remedy. The database can and should be used by policymakers and by the NYPD to better identify and prevent systemic patterns of police misconduct and to discipline the officers who repeat this misconduct. The database can also be used as a resource for people who have witnessed or who have been harmed by police misconduct, so as to help them decide whether to take legal action. www.capstat.nyc