New York –(ENEWSPF)–December 8, 2014. In response to New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s call today that Governor Andrew Cuomo grant him the power to investigate in instances of police shootings of unarmed civilians, Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), issued the following statement:
Independent investigation of lethal police violence is imperative in holding police accountable for their actions, delivering justice to the families of those killed, and ultimately ending police violence. We call on Governor Cuomo to authorize Attorney General Scheiderman’s call for his office to be granted that power immediately. The Center for Constitutional Rights, grassroots community groups, and other allies in the police accountability movement have been demanding independent investigations and prosecutions for decades. Last week, communities and activists took that demand to the streets. Today, the attorney general responded, and we applaud him for that. The proposed investigation is an important complement to the Joint Remedial Process ordered by a federal court in CCR’s successful class action lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, to reform the NYPD’s racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policing.
Attorney General Schneiderman’s announcement follows five days of massive protests in New York City that have shut down bridges, tunnels, intersections, and shopping districts, and protests in hundreds of cities nationwide following the grand jury’s decision not to indict Daniel Pantaleo for the illegal chokehold killing of Eric Garner.
In Floyd v. City of New York, CCR’s landmark class action lawsuit, a federal judge found that the City had engaged in widespread, racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices and ordered comprehensive reforms to end stop-and-frisk abuses. CCR is currently engaged with an Independent Monitor and community groups to develop meaningful reforms to unlawful discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.