New York state Attorney General Letitia James is suing the city of New York, the mayor and the police department’s leaders, alleging that officers had committed civil rights abuses for years, including at protests last summer over the death of George Floyd, and is seeking an independent monitor, reports NBC News.
The “landmark lawsuit” filed in the Southern District of New York names Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Chief of Department Terence Monahan as defendants and outlines years of excessive force and false arrests, most recently during racial justice protests last year stemming from the killing of Floyd, a Black man, while in Minneapolis police custody, James said.
“As the demonstrations continued, the very thing being protested — aggressive actions of law enforcement — was on public display,” James said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit.
James wants a monitor to oversee the department’s policing tactics at future protests and a court order to declare that the policies and practices the department used during protests last year were unlawful. She is also seeking reforms to address what she described as “the problematic policies and training failures that are outlined in the complaint.”
The police department is already under a federal monitor overseeing reforms after its stop-and-frisk policy was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge.