Nassau police officers checking motorists for infractions on Merrick Ave. next to...

Nassau police officers checking motorists for infractions on Merrick Ave. next to Eisenhower Memorial Park in East Meadow on Nov. 2, 2022. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Nassau police arrested Black people and Latinos at significantly higher rates than white people in 2022, more than a year after county legislators approved a reform plan aimed at reducing racial disparities in policing, according to a report released Tuesday by a community advocacy organization.

The report, “Monitoring Police Reform in Nassau County: Tracking Implementation Three Years After George Floyd’s Death,” stated that Black people were arrested by Nassau police up to 5.7 times more than whites last year. Latinos were arrested up to 2.4 times more than whites, according to the report by Long Island United to Transform Policing and Community Safety. Advocates said they used statistics issued by the police department to put together their report.

“Despite the NCPD’s commitment to addressing bias in policing laid out in 2020, there has been no demonstrable progress made,” the report said. “While the NCPD may point to a host of reform progress, the pattern of bias as measured in outcomes has remained consistent year after year and in some ways has become more prominent.”

Long Island United representatives asked Nassau legislators at a Public Safety Committee budget hearing on Tuesday to bolster oversight of the police department before making funding decisions. Data from Nassau police is reported in “silos,” the report said, which makes it impossible for analysts to determine when field stops lead to pat-downs, the use of force and arrests. Susan Gottehrer, the chairwoman of LI United’s police accountability working group, said the data was released in a way that is intentionally confusing and called for lawmakers to hire a data analyst.

“For a department this size, with a budget this size, to have no oversight is outrageous,” Long Island United representative Jeremy Joseph agreed. “There is no data analysis by the Public Safety Committee, the legislative body charged with oversight of the executive branch’s law enforcement agency.”

Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, said lawmakers will review the report with Nassau police.

“It must be kept in mind that the county's law enforcement has done an extraordinary job of keeping our communities safe, notwithstanding cashless bail and other state policies that make crime fighting more difficult than ever,” Nicolello said in a statement.

Nassau police and County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

After the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May 2020, then-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued an order requiring municipalities with police departments to propose changes to eliminate bias within their ranks, or risk the loss of state funds. Floyd’s death led to massive protests on Long island and across the nation.

Nassau lawmakers approved a 424-page reform plan submitted by former County Executive Laura Curran in March 2021.

Long Island United's report offers two sets of demographics for Nassau. The first reflects the population served by the Nassau County Police Department, while the second includes nonresidents from Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn.

The group offered two sets of demographics because Nassau police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told legislators in January 2022 that it was unfair to draw conclusions about arrests because 35% of those arrested by Nassau police did not reside in the county. “This muddied the waters and attempted to remove the use of Nassau population demographics to accurately identify bias,” the report said.

Black people were 5.7 times more likely to be arrested in 2022 compared to whites if measured by the population served by Nassau police. Blacks were 2.4 times more likely to be arrested if the other counties’ demographics are included. Latinos were 2.4 to 1.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites, according to the report.

The report said Black people were 10.1 to 4.2 times more likely to be patted down by officers last year, while Latinos were 3.9 to 2.7 times more likely to be patted down. Black people were 8.6 to 3.6 more likely to be subjected to force by police than whites. Weapons were displayed against Black people at a rate of 16.4 to 6.8 times that of white people.

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