The NYPD is creating a unit that will investigate police-involved shootings, reports the Staten Island Advance. The plan, hatched by Commissioner Bill Bratton, was apparently inspired by a similar division of the Los Angeles Police Department that was created in 2001, just before Bratton took over as its commissioner, to look into any and all incidents involving an officer using deadly or injurious force.
The creation of the unit in New York was precipitated by the death of Eric Garner at the hands of an officer trying to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. Garner’s death last July motivated Bratton to send a team of officers to L.A. to see how the department there deals with use-of-force incidents.
“They have the most contemporary policy on use-of-force training, which I seek to take advantage of,” Bratton was quoted as saying at the time. “We will develop a liaison with LAPD in anticipation of the training.”
Citing unnamed sources, the Advance reports that the new unit is “meant to spark a culture shift within the ranks of the NYPD, since officers often don’t trust investigators from the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau.”
For a detailed look into how the LAPD Force Investigation Division works, take a look at this article at PoliceOne.com, where Kris Pitcher, its former captain, describes the process.