NYPD Purging Thousands Of DNA Samples From Crime-Solving Database

Holly Matkin

NYPD is purging thousands of samples from the local DNA database because of complaints from civil rights groups.

New York, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) has agreed to dismantle portions of the DNA database it uses to solve crimes due to pressure from civil rights groups.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced the overhaul on Thursday, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

The Local DNA Index System database, which currently includes approximately 82,000 profiles stored by the city’s chief medical examiner, has taken years to amass, according to The New York Times.

Those profiles include individuals who have been convicted of various offenses, as well as people who have been arrested or questioned by police, to include minors.

Civil rights groups have demanded that the database be shut down altogether, alleging that it violates the rights those whose profiles are included but who have not been convicted of a crime, The New York Times reported.

In response, Commissioner Shea has agreed to audit tens of thousands of samples that were collected from suspects to locate and expunge those that are at least two years old and have not been connected with a conviction or ongoing investigation.

NYPD Legal Operations Director Bob Barrows said that thousands of samples will be slashed from the database over the course of the next several weeks.

“We don’t want to saturate the database with profiles that aren’t yielding any results,” Barrows told The New York Times. “If these people are not convicted, if they are not a suspect in a law enforcement investigation or ongoing prosecution, those are profiles we want to look at.”

Under the new policy, the department will conduct similar audits every four years moving forward, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

But eliminating those profiles could also erase any chance of solving certain “cold cases,” which can take years to piece together, the New York Post reported.

For example, decades of unsolved crimes have been solved using the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), which was established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1990s.

Under the new policy, investigators will only be able to collect DNA samples from minors if they are under investigation for felony offenses such as hate crimes, sex crimes, and gun offenses, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

But those samples cannot be collected without the consent of the minor and his or her parents or guardians, according to The New York Times.

The Chief of Detectives may approve collection of DNA samples from minors charged with other crimes on a case-by-case basis, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

The policy change will also enable people to have their profiles removed from the database without a court order, as long as they bring acquittal paperwork proving they were not convicted, WHNS reported.

Civil rights groups and public defenders still weren’t pleased by Commissioner Shea’s new plan.

“The NYPD’s weak and cynical proposal does nothing to protect New Yorkers from genetic stop and frisk,” The Legal Aid Society’s DNA Unit Supervising Attorney Terri Rosenblatt told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

“Under their plan, surreptitious DNA sampling and DNA dragnets from people who haven’t been convicted of any crime will still run rampant,” Rosenblatt declared. “Their vague suggestion that they will agree to expunge some samples provides little comfort to our clients — including kids as young as 12 — who are among the tens of thousands of people in the OCME index now or may be in the future.”

Rosenblatt told The New York Times that since law enforcement officers cannot be trusted to follow through with their assertions, another government agency should be tasked with overseeing the database expungement.

“Our lawmakers should step in with real control and oversight of the N.Y.P.D. and act to ban unlawful and unregulated DNA collection,” she said. “All New Yorkers should reject anything less.”

Queens Councilmember Donovan Richards, chair of the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety, said that police use DNA-collecting “dragnets” to target minorities, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported.

“We don’t know how often these dragnets occur. But I can guarantee that if we look, a large number are happening in black and brown neighborhoods,” Richards alleged. “I think the public should be outraged.”

The councilman said that the new DNA database policy “is a step in the right direction” but that “more needs to be done,” The New York Times reported.

“This idea is half-baked,” he told the paper. “It still affects black and brown people disproportionately, people who have not been convicted of anything.”

Commissioner Shea said he hopes that the database overhaul will help establish trust between the NYPD and citizens.

“As a Department, we have reformed policies and practices to support a system that is fair and effective while also cultivating trust with the community,” he said in a statement to The New York Times. “These changes are common sense and incorporate feedback we have gathered without compromising the ability for officers to successfully identify criminals, build strong cases and bring justice for victims.”

Comments (48)
JBoH
JBoH

Just don't arrest any more criminals and that should be a start to satisfy all the complainers, do-gooders and easily offended people.

No. 1-22
Festus52
Festus52

The ACLU has had to hire way to many "mouth-pieces" because they are defending all the scumbags. If they purge the database, there will be fewer scumbag arrests..........Hence, they can save money. When they get in Maxine Waters' face for infringing on my/our political rights, I MIGHT support their evil existence.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#dnatestsforallleos

jozef34
jozef34

good g

mikki2020
mikki2020

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Soulcasserole
Soulcasserole

Officers should just at the station and wait for dispatched calls. Make a run. Do the paperwork and go back to station. Don't arrest anyone!! Tell victim to go to prosecutor office and file charges. Unfortunately no one in the upper command will come out and back the officers. The old saying " sit on your butt and they cannot shove anything up your butt. Sad state of affairs. If you want to do your job and no one supports you

Five-0
Five-0

Animals protecting Animals!!!

Shepfershort
Shepfershort

Soon, nobody will be answering the phone at the P.D. Why leave the precinct? Can't legally perform your duties, when the criminals make the rules. Red 2020

Aramovich
Aramovich

Gross stupidity.

2jazzyj
2jazzyj

''But eliminating those profiles could also erase any chance of solving certain “cold cases,” which can take years to piece together, the New York Post reported.''

Bingo..

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Note to self.. the Big Apple is now officially the Big Turd.

Jones24
Jones24

Sad! The DNA helps identify missing and deceased people too. What is going on in NY?

3 Replies

flybynight
flybynight

It's also been known to free people who have been wrongfully incarcerated...........that includes people of color. Oh well.

Jones24
Jones24

Agree!

GIJOE62
GIJOE62

But wait, their not worried about the innocent ones or worried about letting anyone that's already in jail that's how they get their money. That's how socialism is!!

TheHammer
TheHammer

If you haven't done anything wrong and don't plan to why would you care they have your DNA? And just how does having this database disproportionately affect black and brown people? The database does nothing if you've done nothing.

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

Since NY and California work off a Trial-and-Failure model, why not simply export the DNA records you feel are unnecessary - and when you realize that removing the records was an idiot's fantasy - you can import them back into the database? BTW NYC - Wally-Mart wants you to return their employees you hired.

Tekhore
Tekhore

“It affects black and brown people disproportionately “. Maybe because they affect the crime rate disproportionately.

javaguy
javaguy

Why not just send them to a national crime solving database first?

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

so if we can't have the data we want, then we will just dump it in the federal data base and claim see we did what you wanted! of coarse every thing collected by the cops gets put in the fusion center anyway!

Stanracer
Stanracer

Bleeding heart liberals doing what they do....flushing NY down the toilet. The criminals are celebrating......again!

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Typical for dem run state..i am not surprised..why are any of you? You elect dems this is what u get..although i am from nc. I DID NOT VOTE FOR COOPER..but enough idiots did n he is gov..i despise him

Hawk3699
Hawk3699

Ahh, NYC-- Great place to commit crime. Get arrested, no problem, no bail and no jail. Criminal with DNA on file commits a crime- No problem- No DNA in the database anymore. Catch me if you can. What a bunch of freaking left wing, backwoods, slackjawed,morons and pussies. Screw the law abiding citizen. Bend over more Shea, you must like getting it from the liberal left.

pixiepup
pixiepup

You have turned into a sick unlawful state. I would never come to New York for any reason! Criminals have or will be taking over!

George36
George36

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