AG Tish James’ suit against the NYPD is an outrage

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On Thursday, state Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for supposedly excessive force and false arrests during the Black Lives Matter protests/riots this summer.

The suit alleges that the NYPD and its top brass have failed to address a “longstanding pattern” of abuse by not properly training, supervising and disciplining officers to prevent misconduct.

“There is no question that the NYPD engaged in a pattern of excessive, brutal and unlawful force . . . in suppressing overwhelmingly peaceful protests,” James claims.

“Overwhelmingly.” James apparently has an early bedtime, because as darkness fell, these protests became overwhelmingly unpeaceful very quickly. Activists ignored curfews, yelled, spat and pushed cops. Then windows were smashed, stores looted, and New York City became a boarded-up wasteland.

 Especially in the face of the Capitol riot, it’s the liberal narrative that everything over the summer was “overwhelmingly” peaceful, conveniently ignoring the attacks on federal buildings, the squatting on streets and in parks and the general mayhem. 

City Corporation Counsel James Johnson has issued a far 53-page report on the protests. But unlike James, this review acknowledged both the impact of the pandemic and the presence of provocateurs embedded among the protesters. 

It also noted that language and chants used at the protests — such as “How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D” — “may have affected both NYPD officer behavior and the behavior of those attending the protests.”

Imagine that, cops have feelings, too.

Among the 10 recommendations in the Johnson report is a call for more police officer training in crowd psychology, de-escalation and First Amendment issues as well as greater community engagement in planning and training.

That’s a far better prescription than James’, which is to install yet another monitor (the fifth or so, by our count) over the NYPD, to oversee its tactics at future protests.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has already vowed to implement changes in how cops handle protests.

James’ suit, in short, is pure grandstanding — not part of the solution, but part of the problem.

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