New York Attorney General Letitia James will file a lawsuit Thursday calling for federal oversight of the NYPD in the wake of the department’s use of “excessive enforcement” during the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
James’ office has been probing the NYPD’s response to the rampant demonstrations over the summer, concluding in a preliminary report in July that the department should be overhauled.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference to announce a suit to dissolve the National Rifle Association in New York on Aug. 6, 2020. (Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
“While our investigation remains ongoing, after 30 days of intense scrutiny, it is impossible to deny that many New Yorkers have lost faith in law enforcement,” James said in a statement at the time.
“We must bridge the undeniable divide between the police and the public, and this preliminary report, and the recommendations included, is an important step forward.”
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The impending lawsuit was first reported by NY1.
It comes on the heels of a Department of Investigation report that found the NYPD made “a number of key errors” that “likely escalated tensions” among protesters, who took to the streets over the police death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The 111-page report, released last month, also found that the NYPD’s crowd control practices “produced excessive enforcement that contributed to heightened tensions.”
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The NYPD is already under federal oversight for its use of stop-and-frisk, stemming from a 2013 lawsuit. A judge in that case ruled that the practice was unconstitutional and a form of racial profiling.