New York lawmakers file civil rights lawsuit against NYPD over 2020 protest tactics – NBC New York


A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against New York City by two state lawmakers alleging that police officers used excessive force against them during the first days of the protests following the murder by George Floyd.

State Senator Zillnor Myrie and Congresswoman Diana Richardson have filed a lawsuit against New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and a number of other police officials, claiming that police used excessive force against the couple and numerous other protesters, gathered outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on May 29.

In the case file, Myrie and Richardson claim that officers used bikes and pepper spray to viciously attack lawmakers on one of the first nights of widespread protests last year after Floyd’s death.

“The experience was a painful and humiliating reminder that following the rules and obeying police orders does not protect black Americans from police brutality, not even black Americans who have risen to elected office,” the report said. trial.

The lawsuit claims the two lawmakers attempted to comply with officers’ orders to disperse from the protest site when they were “cooked” and repeatedly beaten with bicycles. The MP wore a “Team Richardson” face mask and the Senator a t-shirt with “Senator Myrie” written on the back in the hopes of being easily identifiable among the crowd.

Questions of the officers regarding their tactics, including the reason for the dispersal of the crowd and the use of force to lead the protesters, went unanswered, lawmakers said. Myrie and Richardson allege they each received pepper spray as they attempted to flee attacks from police motorcycles.

“As she was under attack by police, MP Richardson overheard her colleague, Senator Myrie, shouting her name, with terror and fear in her voice, like you never want someone to shout your name, “says the lawsuit.

Myrie couldn’t see after pepper spray was squirted into his eyes, moments before police shouted “handcuff him” and arrest lawmakers with ties, according to the lawsuit. He was eventually recognized by another officer and a department head ordered him to release him to see a doctor.

“At least one police officer was assigned to stay with Senator Myrie and MP Richardson until they left the protest. Complainants understand that the officer was assigned to protect them from the actions and tactics of other police officers. “, says the trial.

The New York Times first reported the lawsuit. The newspaper said the NYPD and the city’s legal department did not immediately return requests for comment.

Mayor de Blasio did not comment directly on the trial at a public briefing on Monday, but said the city has learned from its mistakes and become a better department.

Late last year, the city’s Investigations Department found “several gaps” in the NYPD’s response to last summer’s protests against the death of George Floyd, and recommended sweeping changes in the policy. how the police department responds to protests.

The scathing 111-page report says “public confidence is at its lowest” and that the police service needs major structural changes to restore that confidence. The mayor then posted a six-minute video on social media in response to the investigation, saying “I have read this report and agree with it.”


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