The Civilian Complaint Review Board says too many police officers are conducting searches and entering homes without just cause. But a top police union is battling back against the Board's Chairman. NY1's Lori Chung has the story.
"It's a very serious problem because of the major invasion of privacy," said CCRB Chairman Richard Emery.
The city's Civilian Complaint Review Board outlining its report finding dozens of instances of NYPD officers entering homes and conducting searches illegally.
"Cases where the officers claimed they had consent to enter and the consent was coerced, they intimidated people to let them in, there are number of cases where they chase people from the street," Emery said.
The CCRB says it substantiated 180 complaints from people who said police unlawfully entered their homes. Including 19 instances of officers using threats or physical force to get in, and 94 cases that led to an arrest or summons.
The CCRB Chairman says many times officers entered homes without warrants, not understanding what the law calls "exigent and emergency circumstances" to do so.
"It's a difficult training issue because the law is sometimes very complicated," Emery said.
But, the head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association says any problems are likely isolated.
"You know we have layers of supervision, we have to deal with the District Attorney's office, we also have a legal bureau that we run things by," said SBA President Ed Mullins.
Mullins says he takes issue — not so much with the report — but with the agency and the man behind it.
Mullins slammed Emery for his private law firm's role in a suit against the city on behalf of a former CCRB plaintiff. And a week ago he called for Emery's dismissal for his comments about police unions.
"The biggest problem is CCRB is no longer credible, Richard Emery's integrity has been compromised and I really can't put any faith in that report," Mullins said.
Emery says the issue is a red herring that has been addressed by conflict of interest board rules — the agency's attention is now on urging the NYPD to make corrections.
"These findings in this report are well documented and they are open to anybody's scrutiny," Emery said.
Emery says most police searches are done legally. The NYPD says there were 15,000 search entries done during the study period and that the CCRB's findings represent one tenth of one percent of that number.
But police brass are looking at the report. The CCRB is recommending body cameras and more training for officers.