You are reading

AG Launches Investigation to See Whether NYPD Has Been Targeting Minorities on Subways

Police arrested and tasered a youth at the 111th St. station in October (Photo: Twitter Sen. Jessica Ramos)

Jan. 13, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The New York Attorney General announced today that she has launched an investigation to see whether the NYPD has been targeting communities of color when it comes to fare evasion.

Attorney General Letitia James has sent a letter to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea requesting that he provide data and various reports that may indicate whether officers have exhibited racial biases in arresting or summonsing people for turnstile jumping.

James noted that current and former NYPD officers have given sworn statements alleging that the department had an unofficial policy of targeting minorities for fare evasion through to at least 2015.

She noted that this alleged discrimination may still be continuing today as the groups are overrepresented in recent fare evasion violation data.

Black and Hispanic New Yorkers made up nearly 90 percent of the arrests for fare evasion between October 2017 and June 2019, according to James. The two groups account for a little over 50 percent of the city’s population.

“We’ve all read the stories and seen the disturbing videos of men, women, and children being harassed, dragged away, and arrested by officers in our city’s subway system, which is why we are launching an investigation into this deeply troublesome conduct,” James said in a statement.

In October, a photo of a teen who had been tasered by police at a Corona subway station went viral when it was tweeted by State Sen. Jessica Ramos with the caption “All of this for $2.75?!?!”

The NYPD was criticized for the use of force, but the department said officers were responding to report of the teens threatening one another with knives.

Last month, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Board approved the hiring of 500 additional transit police officers to crack down on fare evasions, despite pushback from local lawmakers.

James said her office won’t think twice about using any investigative means necessary if the NYPD fails to cooperate.

“While we are hopeful that the NYPD will cooperate thoroughly with this investigation, we will not hesitate to use every investigative tool at our disposal to protect subway riders and the people of this city,” she said.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson applauded James for launching the investigation.

“For decades, law enforcement has disproportionately impacted communities of color and as we reform our criminal justice system we need to know if this practice is continuing with fare evasion,” Johnson said.

James Letter by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: [email protected]

6 Comments

Click for Comments 
Maluana Karenga

How about reviewing the camera footage. What kind of racism will u find? your own constituents beating the fare and doing all sorts of nonsense. What did u budget for this fiasco to line ghost investigators pockets?? It costs nothing and takes all but one person to review a months worth’s of footage in any given station. Your investigation is nonsense

Reply
ASensibleMan

What a complete waste of time. AG Lynch is only concerned with racial grievances and political issues, not with crime. What a disaster.

50
30
Reply
whyIleft

Think you mean AG James, but same could be said for Loretta Lynch. AG James: “groups (minorities) overrepresented in recent fare evasion data”. Here’s a thought, perhaps these “groups” are the ones jumping the turnstiles disproportionately? I know I am a horrible racist for pointing this out.

33
12
Reply
She was never mentioned

It sure is hard to imagine the NYPD being giant racists though, isn’t it?

32
5
Reply
Perhaps of people just behaved themselves

Then no one would feel ‘targeted’. Don’t give anyone reason to suspect you.

Reply
Interesting.

Funny how all the people messing about on the subways and busses happen to be “minorities”…

20
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the big game in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.