Investigation and Systemic Review of Police Responses to Large-scale Protests
Police responses to mass protests present unique challenges for oversight agencies seeking to review a department’s training, preparation, strategies, policies, determinations regarding officers’ uniforms and gear, deployment of weaponry, on-the-ground supervisory, decision-making, and individual officers’ actions. The protests last summer, which erupted after police killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, exemplify these challenges. This webinar features two oversight practitioners who led their agencies’ systemic review of the Denver and New York City Police Departments’ responses to days of protests and demonstrations. Following these systemic reviews, both the Denver Office of the Independent Monitor and the New York City Department of Investigation published detailed and comprehensive reports describing their findings and recommendations.
Join us for this webinar on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. ET, featuring Nicholas Mitchell, former independent monitor for the city and county of Denver, and Andrew Brunsden, counsel to the commissioner and inspector general, at the New York City Department of Investigation. They will describe how they approached and conducted their reviews and reached determinations on recommendations. The webinar should help oversight practitioners and policymakers decide on effective techniques and strategies for reviewing protracted, chaotic protests during which police use force in ways the public views as illegitimate, counterproductive, and/or unlawful.
Andrew Brunsden is Counsel to the Commissioner and Inspector General at the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI), which is the City’s independent watchdog agency providing good government oversight of City agencies, employees, and contractors. At DOI, he has managed investigations of public corruption offenses resulting in prosecutions and reviews of government failures resulting in reports and recommendations. Andrew recently supervised the team responsible for DOI’s report on the NYPD’s response to the George Floyd protests. Andrew is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School, where he teaches courses on public corruption law and lawyering skills. He has a forthcoming law review publication examining President Trump’s firing of federal inspectors general and proposed reforms to protect independent oversight from presidential abuses of power.
Andrew was previously an associate at the law firm Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. where he focused on criminal, regulatory, and civil litigation and investigations. He also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Rosemary S. Pooler of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and to the Honorable Dean D. Pregerson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Andrew graduated with a J.D. from UCLA School of Law, a Masters in Philosophy and Anthropology from the University of St. Andrews, and a B.A. in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Nick was recently appointed by a California federal court to oversee a Department of Justice consent decree with the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The consent decree is intended to fix systemic unconstitutional conditions in the largest municipal jail system in the world. Between 2012 and 2021, Nick was the Independent Monitor of the Denver Police and Sheriff Departments. As Independent Monitor, Nick oversaw all investigations into the approximately 2,300 sworn police officers and sheriff deputies in the City and County of Denver, including all allegations of excessive force and other abuses of authority. He also conducted data-driven analyses of police and sheriff policies and practices. Nick has received awards from the Denver Bar Association and the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, and has been recognized as an expert on civilian oversight and law enforcement reform on CNN, the New Yorker, and other national publications. Nick is a graduate of Fordham Law School and is a former Gates Foundation Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was previously a member of the Board of Governors of the Colorado Bar Association, and a former Director of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. Before becoming Independent Monitor, Mr. Mitchell was a lawyer in private practice in New York City and Denver, providing white collar criminal defense and litigating commercial matters in federal and state courts.