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Criminal justice advocates rally against lack of Nassau County police reform

Sonia Arora speaks with police reform advocates in Nassau
Charles Lane
Sonia Arora speaks with police reform advocates in Nassau

55% percent of Nassau County police’s use of force incidents are unexplained, according to an analysis by the police reform group Long Island United.

The group used data provided in the police department’s annual report that said Nassau cops used force on 440 occasions in 2021. Of those, less than a quarter resulted in an arrest.

Advocates say this means there’s minimal visibility on why police use force, and there's little to no oversight of the police department.

“We are calling on the Nassau County Public Safety Committee of the legislature to do their jobs,” said Susan Gottehrer, an organizer for Long Island United.

The group’s report also found that Black and Latino people are more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested and be subjected to force compared to white people.

In the past, police officials blamed the statistical disparity on people outside Nassau. However, Long Island United used demographics from Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk counties, and still found the same disparities.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.