NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Attorney General on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department, citing protesters’ rough behavior against racial injustice against a long-standing pattern of past mistreatment, Which stemmed from inadequate training, supervision and discipline.
Attorney General Letitia James’s lawsuit includes dozens of instances of alleged misconduct during a spring demonstration in the wake of George Floyd’s police assassination, using pepper spray and batons on protesters, trapping protesters with trapping techniques, and medics and Including arresting legal supervisors. .
James announced the lawsuit at a news conference, saying, “We found a pattern of deep and illegal practices that the NYPD used in response to a largely peaceful protest.”
James, a Democrat, was appointed by the government. Andrew Quomo used excessive force to investigate whether NYPD officials used to calm the unrest and enforce Mayor Bill de Blasio’s night curfew. It released a preliminary report in July citing a “breakdown of trust between the police and the public”.
James is seeking reforms, including the appointment of a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD’s policing strategy on future protests, and announcing a court order that policies and behavior used by the department during protests Were illegal.
The lawsuit in federal court named the city de Blasio, Commissioner of Police Dermot Shea, and department head Terence Monahan as defendants. James criticized De Blasio for justifying the use of kettling, and Shia said the NYPD’s plan was “a plan that was almost flawlessly executed” when authorities attacked protesters in the Bronx on 4 June.
In June, at the height of the protests, de Blasio was accused of misleading the city when he told reporters that he personally saw “no use of force around peaceful protests”, even though officials were without The provocative protesters were caught on video shaking. They beat him with sticks.
De Blasio said he met with James on Wednesday and they share the goal of emphasizing major police reforms, such as implementing recommendations in previous reports on the NYPD’s protest response. De Blasio was also a Democrat, although he said he did not agree a lawsuit was a solution.
“A court process and a federally monitored bureaucracy will not accelerate this work,” de Blasio said. “There is no time to waste and we will continue to press further.”
John Miller, NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Tertrism, said the department is committed to reform, but the James lawsuit “does not meet the standard for federal surveillance, and does not describe a pattern and practice.” Need.
The head of the city’s largest police union blamed “failure of New York City leadership to send officers into unprecedented protests and violent riots with no plans, no tactics and no support”.
“Instead of pointing fingers at the police on the streets and ignoring criminals with bricks and firebombs, they should be forced to chaos as a result,” said Pat Lynch, president of the Police Friendly Association.
James’ lawsuit is the second major legal action to deal with the NYPD’s protests.
In October, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Aid Society sued the city on behalf of protesters who say they were beaten and abused by police.
Andrew Smith, a black man who was seen spraying black pepper in the face by a white officer who disfigured his face, said the officer showed the world inadequate training, the violent racist culture of NYP My hands were up in the air when he attacked. “
A civil rights organization and a city watchdog agency have also criticized the department’s actions.
Human Rights Watch released a report on the Bronx crackdown in November and the city’s inspector general released a report in December that found the NYPD was spared the size of protests and resorted to aggressive tactics that reduced tensions and Free speech was banned.
Mark Winston Griffith, a spokeswoman for the advocacy group Community United for Police Reform, praised the lawsuit, saying: “NYPD violence against protesters is a long-standing problem and is attributed to Attorney General James who Using the power of office to challenge. There is a systemic lack of accountability for this violence. “
In a joint statement, NYCLU and the Legal Aid Society said: “We hope that this will be the beginning of a serious retaliation on police violence and the militarization of the force against protesters, particularly people of color, and the investigation of several officers by military officers But it will be stopped. See as their authority. ”
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