Letitia James, Attorney General of New York, is suing the New York City Police Dept. James is seeking to install a federal monitor to oversee the police department.
The landmark lawsuit comes after the Attorney General’s office found widespread civil rights abuses last summer during George Floyd Black Lives Matter protests.
The lawsuit is the first time in in New York state’s history that a sitting AG has sued the NYPD.
Back in 2013 a monitor was appointed in response to stop-and-frisk practices of the Bloomberg administration.
In a release on Thursday, AG James office said police had used brutal force
and had a pattern of false arrests during peaceful protests.
According to Attorney General James, the lawsuit “specifically charges the NYPD, the City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan with failing to address this longstanding pattern of abuse by not properly training, supervising, and disciplining officers to prevent misconduct, despite knowledge and public admission that it violated the rights of New Yorkers.”
She said the complaint asserts that NYPD officers “unlawfully arrested legal observers, medics, and other workers performing essential services without probable cause and in direct violation of executive orders from Mayor de Blasio.”
“There is no question that the NYPD engaged in a pattern of excessive, brutal, and unlawful force against peaceful protesters,” said AG James in the release. “Over the past few months, the NYPD has repeatedly and blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers, inflicting significant physical and psychological harm and leading to great distrust in law enforcement. With today’s lawsuit, this longstanding pattern of brutal and illegal force ends. No one is above the law — not even the individuals charged with enforcing it.”