By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
On April 15, the good-government group Citizens Union seconded Stone's demand, calling for a "more independent Civilian Complaint Review Board that is given the power to try the cases it substantiates."
But, not in so many words, Kelly has indicated that's not happening.
In a March 11 letter to the board, Kelly explained that the reason for the increase in DUPs is "largely due to a change in the nature" of the CCRB complaints, and an increase in harder-to-prove abuse-of-authority complaints. (The commissioner didn't mention that the increase in abuse-of-authority complaints might have something to do with his aggressive "stop-and-frisk" policy, which has resulted in 865,557 New Yorkers being stopped over the past two years without being charged with anything.) In the letter, Kelly indicated that the Advocate's Office lawyers "are best suited" to analyze those cases.
Kelly didn't, however, specifically say that he was against letting the CCRB prosecute its own cases—so, at the review board's monthly meeting on April 9, CCRB member Dennis deLeon proposed sending Kelly a letter to get him on record. The vote? Two for; four against, including two of the police commissioner's designees (the third was absent); and four abstentions, including Stone, who said she was for it but believes that it was "a futile act" given Kelly's past statements.
Afterward, one naysayer—board member Tosano "Tony" Simonetti, a seventysomething retired NYPD first deputy commissioner—had this to say about the CCRB's chances of ever gaining prosecutorial powers: "Not in my lifetime."
Simonetti, one of the police commissioner's designees, didn't make clear if this was a prediction or a promise.