James O’Neill Investigates NYPD Detective Who Falsified Reviews

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The town’s prime cop has ordered an inner evaluation of the dealing with of the case of a detective who was caught making up false witness names and addresses on official reviews.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill mentioned the division would look into the state of affairs involving Detective Thomas Rice — and whether or not there are any holes within the oversight of different detectives’ work.

“We’re going to try his physique of labor and we’re going to try his supervision,” O’Neill mentioned Tuesday in his first remarks on the case. “It’s regarding to me.”

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Because the Each day Information completely reported, Rice was caught fabricating dozens of witness names and addresses to shut 22 severe felony investigations over a yr in 2011 and 2012.

However he was allowed to maintain his $113,000-a-year job and his detective rank, and solely misplaced 20 trip days. He was transferred to patrol in Brooklyn’s 67th Precinct, the place he has labored for the previous 4 years.

The Queens DA’s workplace can be reviewing the case. Metropolis Councilmembers have known as for a have a look at the broader implications.

The commissioner mentioned it’s unlikely Rice would have remained a cop had the misconduct occurred below his watch. It predated his ascension to police commissioner in 2016.

“If this was a case that was offered to me there’s likelihood Mr. Rice…wouldn’t be a police officer any extra, wouldn’t be a member of the service,” O’Neill mentioned.

Mayor de Blasio, equally, mentioned, “If such a factor had been to occur below our watch the results can be very, very severe. I discover it exhausting to know how there wasn’t a extra severe consequence for these sorts of actions.”

One of many troubling parts of the case was that there was no formal assembly with Queens prosecutors on the time to find out whether or not the case ought to be the topic of a prison investigation.

There’s no formal process within the NYPD Patrol Information laying out what cops must do in discussing misconduct instances with prosecutors.

Requested about this, O’Neill mentioned, “That was a terrific concern to me.”

O’Neill has additionally requested the Division Advocate’s workplace to have a look at the dealing with of the disciplinary case.

In the meantime, detective squad commanders throughout the town have begun taking a look at their very own detectives’ work with heavier scrutiny, sources mentioned.

One supply mentioned detectives have been advised to “dot each i and cross each t,” and that “no less than within the quick time period” there can be extra scrutiny on their investigations.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce mentioned he understood the priority the case has generated, however underscored there are safeguards in place to cease it from occurring once more.

“Every detective and every supervisor, simply as importantly, has to know precisely what’s anticipated of them and to know that investigative steps can’t be skirted, which is what occurred right here — doubly so when Mr. Rice then coated it up with nonsense, with false data,” he mentioned.

“We rent detective bosses to do this. I’m assured they’re doing it now.”

Boyce defended his detectives, saying the Each day Information’ articles on the Rice case “forged a nasty dispersion on detectives now,” he mentioned. “That’s a very long time in the past.”

He added he doesn’t assume it’s nonetheless occurring. “However we’ve got to remain vigilant always,” he mentioned.

Donovan Richards, the chair of the Council’s Public Security Committee, mentioned he’s nonetheless not glad with the reasons and intends to carry a public listening to on it.

“I’m nonetheless troubled by it,” he mentioned. “This case shook public belief. I perceive it was a previous motion, but it surely sends the incorrect message.”

 
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