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This Guardian article reports on a video showing a New York Police Department vehicle pushing through a crowd of protestors about four days ago. (The article says “plowing,” but you can watch the video for yourself and see what you prefer to call it.) The piece begins:

It doesn’t take long to blow up a reputation. In the case of the New York police department, an institution with an already troubled history, the clip lasted all of 27 seconds.

Does the NYPD really have a reputation for police brutality, specifically for brutality committed in the past ~20 years?* Is this violence greater than that committed by comparable police forces?** Are there any official or otherwise authoritative explanations for this misconduct?


* I narrowed to this more recent history for the sake of relevance.

** I ask this just to make sense of any statistics on police brutality. For example, Wikipedia lists instances of police misconduct, but I do not know if the quantity or frequency of malfeasance is a lot, a little, or just average.

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    @Oddthinking: Why is the question off topic? This claim about the NYPD’s reputation is certainly notable (the article above from a well-respected newspaper should qualify as a source), and I am challenging the assertion that the NYPD’s reputation regarding police brutality really is so poor. – Daniel Jun 8 at 6:24
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    Sory, I was just getting here to comment. This question straw-mans the claim. The claim is not "In the past 20 years, the NYPD has commited more violent acts than other police departments." nor "The NYPD has a worse reputation than other police departments." It is "the NYPD is an institution with a troubled history". The Wikipedia page is sufficient to attest to that. – Oddthinking Jun 8 at 6:28
  • That’s fair. I’ll have to do more research myself. – Daniel Jun 8 at 6:30

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