Reimagining Justice: People v. Charles and the Myth of Justice without Police Accountability in New York City



Police play an integral role in the criminal judicial system; they start the process through searches and seizures and are often involved in other parts of the process, including evidentiary hearings and trials. Thus, it is imperative that police officers do their jobs ethically and responsibly. This Article examines how police officers in New York City frequently engage in misconduct related to the administration of criminal justice, including conducting illegal searches and seizures, planting and doctoring evidence, assaulting civilians, falsifying paperwork, and testilying. The Article also explores how police unions, prosecutors, judges, and the city government regularly shield police officers from accountability for their misconduct. It concludes that New York City’s response leads to the perversion of criminal justice. Finally, the Article suggests solutions to address police misconduct, including imposing civil liabilities on officers, preventing the tampering of body camera footage, filing ethics complaint against prosecutors that knowingly prosecute bad cases, empowering the Civilian Complaint Review Board, and prosecuting officers for criminal conduct.

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