ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo heaped praise on New York Attorney General Letitia James Friday for suing the NYPD over civil rights abuses stemming from last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.
James filed the suit and released a report on the demonstrations a day earlier, asking for a court-appointed monitor to be installed to oversee the department.
“The findings are very troubling and disturbing,” the governor said during a press briefing in Albany. “I applaud the attorney general for the thoroughness of her actions and I applaud the attorney general for her courage.
“It’s hard to speak truth to power. It’s hard to speak truth to the NYPD It’s hard to speak truth to the mayor of the city of New York,” he added.
The suit, filed in federal court, names Mayor de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and Chief of Department Terence Monahan as defendants.
It highlights years of excessive force and false arrests related to protests against police brutality, centering on last year’s demonstrations in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Cuomo tasked James with probing the police response to the protests last summer.
The civil investigation found “an egregious abuse of police power, rampant excessive use of force and leadership unable and unwilling to stop it,” James said.
The governor issued an executive order last June requiring all police agencies across the state to re-examine their policies and procedures and consider community-based reforms.
Under the order, the state could withhold future state or federal funds from municipalities that do not comply with the mandate or do not submit a certified plan by an April 1 deadline.
In response to the suit being filed, both the mayor and NYPD said plans to reform the department are already underway.
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