Federal prosecutors have launched an investigation into the NYPD’s Special Victims Division to determine whether the embattled sex crimes unit engaged in a ‘pattern or practice’ of sexist policing, it has been reported. revealed Thursday.
Investigators will investigate reported systemic issues with the division of the nation’s largest police force that have spanned more than a decade, the Justice Department said in a news release.
“The Department has received information alleging shortcomings at the SVD that have persisted for more than a decade, depriving survivors and the public of the prompt, thorough, and effective investigations necessary to protect public safety,” officials said.
“These shortcomings would include failing to complete basic investigative steps and instead shaming and abusing survivors and re-traumatizing them during investigations,” they added.
The investigation will be conducted jointly by investigators from the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as the Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
“Victims of sex crimes deserve the same rigorous and impartial investigations into their cases that the NYPD affords to other categories of crimes,” SDNY U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
“Over the past few months, we have learned information from a variety of sources about historical matters about how the Special Victims Division conducted its investigations for many years,” added Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney EDNY.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to request for comment, but federal authorities said they alerted Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams, who pledged to cooperate with the investigation.
New York Post