State Attorney General Tish James is suing the NYPD over its response to the police brutality protests that swept the city last year, charging it has shown a pattern of excessive force and false arrests against protesters.
In a federal lawsuit filed Thursday against Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Chief of Department Terence Monahan, James asks for a federal monitor to be installed to oversee the NYPD.
“What we found was an egregious abuse of police power, rampant excessive use of force, and leadership unable and unwilling to stop it,” James said at a press conference Thursday.
Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit includes dozens of examples of alleged misconduct during the spring demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s police killing, including the use of pepper spray and batons on protesters, trapping demonstrators with a technique called kettling and arresting medics and legal observers.
James, a Democrat, was tasked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo with investigating whether NYPD officers used excessive force to quell unrest and enforce Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nightly curfew. She issued a preliminary report in July that cited a “clear breakdown of trust between police and the public.