NY Attorney General to sue NYPD over response to Floyd protests

The lawsuit is expected to demand a federal monitor oversee changes on how the NYPD handles protests in the future

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — New York State Attorney General Letitia James plans to sue the NYPD over its treatment of protesters during marches over the death of George Floyd, according to a report.

James is expected to file a lawsuit against the NYPD Thursday demanding a federal monitor to oversee changes on how the department handles protests in the future, NY1's Dean Meminger tweeted.

This move comes about a month after the city’s Department of Investigation released a scathing report admonishing the department for lacking a “clearly defined strategy” in its handling of citywide protests over Floyd’s death.

The department’s lack of preparation “contributed to problems that then escalated tensions” as thousands took to the streets, the 111-page probe said.

Emails to the Attorney General’s office and the NYPD were not immediately returned Thursday.

If the lawsuit is successful, this would be the second federal monitor ordered to watch over the NYPD.

In 2013, a federal monitor was installed to oversee the NYPD’s reform of stop-and-frisk after Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled the department used the tactic in an unconstitutional way by disproportionately targeting minorities.

The current federal monitor, Peter Zimroth, also oversees how police enforce trespassing violations in the city’s housing projects.

Thousands of people took to the streets in outrage over Floyd’s death, sparking caught-on-camera clashes between protesters and police, including incidents like a cop shoving a woman near the Barclays Center, giving her a concussion.

Officers in riot gear fought and arrested hundreds of demonstrators, some of whom looted businesses in Manhattan and the Bronx.

In their report, the DOI recommended the NYPD create a protest response unit to coordinate with the Community Affairs Bureau to handle large protests.

If the department feels cops in riot gear are required they should be detailed away from protesters so they don’t anger marchers and should be called in only if necessary, the DOI said.

When the report was released, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he intended to incorporate the recommendations into future department policies and training.

(c)2021 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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