Long Island’s two major police departments are among the largest local law enforcement agencies in the United States. Protecting and serving, the Nassau and Suffolk County police departments are key to the quality of life on the Island – as well as the quality of justice. They have the dual missions of enforcing the law and of holding accountable those officers who engage in misconduct.
Each mission is essential.
Newsday's series of case histories, Inside Internal Affairs, looks at how cloaked in secrecy by law, the systems for policing the police in both counties imposed no, or little, penalties on officers in cases involving serious injuries or deaths.
2 mentally impaired men died after Suffolk police subdued them. No officers were held accountable.
Suffolk police and the DA's office conducted flawed homicide investigations into the deaths of a man with bipolar disorder and another with autism.
SCPD let off-duty cop go without alcohol testing after crash that fractured 2-year-old's skull
Police tested the child's dad for alcohol, but not the officer, blocking the DA from determining if the officer had been drinking. The toddler suffered lasting injuries in the 50-mph crash.
Secret file reveals 'cover-up of a cover-up' in unjustified police shooting, arrest of innocent man
In a fit of alcohol-fueled road rage, an off-duty Nassau officer shot an innocent man, who was then arrested. A secret file reveals police brass pressed internal affairs to delete evidence in the wrongful arrest investigation.
Watch: 'Cover-up of a cover-up' in unjustified police shooting, arrest of innocent man
Watch us break down the investigation.
Hidden file reveals police failed to protect Jo'Anna Bird from violent ex-boyfriend
A 781-page file kept secret by Nassau police for more than a decade detailed the repeated policing failures leading up to her murder in 2009. Read the story.
Inside Bird’s final months: ‘She really felt like she was going to die’
Jo’Anna Bird was sure that her violent ex-boyfriend would murder her. She sought help from the police — but with information from long-secret file, Newsday reconstructs how officials mishandled her case.
An officer failed to monitor a prisoner’s safety on the day his partner sexually assaulted her
A Suffolk officer forced a woman into oral sex inside the First Precinct. His partner later fabricated a log that tracked her movements.
‘Whatever I felt I needed to do to survive.’ The woman describes her trauma.
An officer failed to monitor a prisoner’s safety on the day his partner sexually assaulted her.
Nassau, Suffolk police bar access to most disciplinary files, despite repeal of secrecy law
For nearly 18 months, the county police departments have rejected or delayed Freedom of Information Law requests from Newsday and others, or provided heavily blacked-out records. Newsday has challenged the rejections in court.