New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the New York City Police Department and its leadership over its “excessive, brutal and unlawful” handling of George Floyd protests, James said in a news release.
James also wants to install an external monitor to oversee the department’s policing tactics.
The suit, filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, comes after a monthslong investigation into the NYPD’s actions during protests over the killing of Floyd that found that officers allegedly used “indiscriminate, unjustified, and repeated use of batons, pepper spray, bicycles and a crowd control tactic known as ‘kettling’ against peaceful protestors,” the release said.
“There is no question that the NYPD engaged in a pattern of excessive, brutal, and unlawful force against peaceful protesters,” said James.
“Over the past few months, the NYPD has repeatedly and blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers, inflicting significant physical and psychological harm and leading to great distrust in law enforcement.”
The suit names the NYPD, the City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan as failing to address a “longstanding pattern of abuse” by not properly training, supervising and disciplining officers to prevent and address misconduct, the release said.
CNN has reached out to the NYPD, de Blasio and the city for comment on the suit.
James’s office investigated complaints from incidents between May 28, 2020, and December 11, 2020, and found that officers conducted mass arrests without probable cause and “targeted and retaliated against First Amendment activity” frequently, the news release said.