LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCOUNTABILITY BUREAU
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office believes that no one is above the law, and that there must be one standard of justice for law enforcement and civilians alike. Any misconduct by law enforcement damages public trust and undermines public safety.
A study conducted in Milwaukee after a high-profile incident of excessive use of force by the police found that, controlling for crime, prior call patterns, and several neighborhood characteristics, 911 calls declined dramatically for more than a year after the incident, resulting in a total net loss of approximately 22,200 calls to 911. In Brooklyn, we cannot afford for our residents to be afraid to call 911 if they are a victim of a crime, or a witness to a crime.
If law enforcement officers are not held accountable for misconduct, that further erodes public trust in the justice system—and further undermines public safety.
To ensure that law enforcement misconduct is taken seriously and handled transparently, District Attorney Gonzalez created a new Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau. The Bureau is led by Chief Patrick O’Connor, a veteran homicide prosecutor with more than 23 years of experience, most recently as Deputy Bureau Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau. Patrick is well-respected by the law enforcement community and the defense bar for his unwavering integrity and commitment to justice. DA Gonzalez is confident that Chief O’Connor will follow the evidence wherever it leads in these critical cases and inspire confidence in the communities that the Office serves by delivering on the promise that no one is above the law.
The Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau will fulfill one of the key recommendations of the Justice 2020 action plan, to develop new protocols that ensure independent investigation with no special treatment for police officers suspected of misconduct. The Bureau will also improve data and analytics to enable the office to identify patterns of misconduct.
DA Gonzalez is committed to transparency at every stage of the process. The Bureau will work with members of the community to develop protocols for keeping the public and family members of alleged victims informed in these cases.