How to file a complaint against a police officer.
If you believe that you have been mistreated by a police officer, you have 3 ways to file a complaint. Each method of complaint serves a different purpose and will likely have different results. You do not need to choose among the 3 options. You can file any or all of the following complaints:
- Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB): The CCRB is an independent agency made up of "civilians." A complaint with the CCRB can end up with a face-to-face mediation with the cop (your choice) or an impartial investigation. Most complaints of uncessary or excessive physical force, abuse of authority, discourtesy, or offensive language by a cop should be made to the CCRB.
- Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) of the NYC Police Department: The IAB investigates complaints of police corruption (bribes, buying/selling drugs or any other illegal activity) and "serious misconduct." If you are not sure if you should file your complaint with the CCRB or the IAB, do both, just in case. You do not have to give your name or address when you file a complaint with the IAB, but if you do not there will be no way for the bureau's investigators to contact you. If the IAB investigation supports your complaint, the police officer(s) can be disciplined or arrested.
- File a Notice of Claim: In order to sue the City for the misconduct of a police officer, you must file a "Notice of Claim" within 90 days of the incident. Filing a Notice of Claim does not mean that you are going to sue, only that you are keeping your right to sue open. Because the City might someday have to pay you for the officer's misconduct, a Notice of Claim always gets their attention.
You can file with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB):
- By phone by calling "311" at any time, day or night.
- Online by using the Online Complaint Form.
- In person at the CCRB Office at 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday or by going to any Police Precinct.
It does not have to be the Precinct where the officer is assigned to.
- By mail addressed to CCRB, 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006.
For more information visit the CCRB Website
You can file with the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) of the NYC Police Department:
- By phone by calling (212) 442-8833 at any time, day or night.
- In person at the IAB Office at 315 Hudson Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10013 at any time day or night or by going to any Police Precinct.
It does not have to be the same Precinct where the officer is assigned to.
- By mail addressed to Occupant, P.O. Box 1001, New York 10014.
- By E-mail to IAB E-mail.