New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) for violating the rights of racial justice protestors. She made the announcement on Thursday, Jan. 14.
“I’m filing a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department to bring an end to its pattern of repeatedly and blatantly violating the rights of New Yorkers. No one is above the law — not even the individuals charged with enforcing it,” James tweeted.
In a thread of tweets detailing her reasoning, James explained that the “landmark lawsuit” would address “years of using excessive force and making false arrests against New Yorkers, most recently during racial justice protests in 2020.”
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James was specifically addressing the protests that erupted in 2020 after the inhumane murder of George Floyd by then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
During the Black Lives Matter rallies in New York last summer, more than 2,000 mostly peaceful protestors were arrested, according to the New York Times. James’ office did an investigation which found in addition to arresting some, including medics, for no reason, NYPD officers also beat protestors with their batons, plunged at them with bikes and used a law enforcement strategy called kettling, in which they encircled protestors to block them in so they had no way to exit.
For years the NYPD has been accused of racism. One of it’s members was outed as the writer behind a racist cop blog in December 2020. James said they were “seeking systemic reforms to the NYPD” and that they also wanted a monitor to be installed to oversee the departments policing tactics.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was disappointed with James decision, whom he’d met with the day before. While he said they share the same goal of making sweeping chances to New York policing, he also believed the lawsuit would slow that process down.
“A court process and the added bureaucracy of a federal monitor will not speed up this work,” de Blasio said in a statement on Thursday after the lawsuit was filed. “There is no time to waste and we will continue to press forward.”
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Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
However, James said she is moving ahead with the lawsuit because de Blasio and the NYPD had ample time to begin disciplining and training officers to avoid harmful and illegal practices.
“There was ample ability and opportunity for the city and N.Y.P.D. leadership to make important changes to the way that officers interact with peaceful protesters, but time and time again, they did not,” James said during a press conference. “It’s past time for real, meaningful change. … With today’s lawsuit, this longstanding pattern of brutal and illegal force ends. New Yorkers deserve better.”