PIX11 – New York City:
The NYPD will phase out its plainclothes anti-crime unit in what the police commissioner called “a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this city,” he announced in a news conference Monday.
About 600 people are expected to transition from the plainclothes unit, and will move to the department’s detective and neighborhood policing units, among others.
The move comes after weeks of protests and calls to action regarding police departments nationwide, primarily following the death of George Floyd at the hands of officers in Minneapolis. It’s sparked nationwide outrage, including calls to “defund” or “abolish” police.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said it will be felt immediately within the department and within the city.
Over the past several weeks, plainclothes officers have been scrutinized over accusations of excessive force, like a violent social distancing-related arrest in the East Village in early May and a violent Brooklyn arrest of two men allegedly smoking marijuana in March.
Shea said officers in the plainclothes unit “get into a number of police-involved shootings.”