“Black lives matter and the use of excessive force by police in this country must end. These aims are not only achievable; they are fundamental to a fair and just society, and we commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand this achievable reality now.
We are heartened to see a number of officers kneeling alongside demonstrators and engaging in constructive dialogue with them. If this is how change begins, then the follow-through must come from our elected leaders, in the form of public policies which assure our constituents that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime. At a minimum, we must repeal or amend statutes which undermine public confidence in these aims, including Civil Rights Law 50-A, as well as laws which confer qualified immunity in cases of excessive force.
Our office has prosecuted dozens of uniformed officers for official misconduct and violence since 2010, and this longstanding tradition of independence and accountability will continue in the days and weeks ahead. We are actively monitoring social media and other sources to identify investigative leads into claims of excessive force and we strongly encourage New Yorkers to share them with us.
Our office is independently evaluating all arrests of protestors to determine if their cases should move forward. With regard to the hundreds of Desk Appearance Tickets issued to demonstrators in Manhattan, our office will not draft any complaints until we have scrutinized all available evidence and determined whether a prosecution should commence. With regard to recent custodial arrests, we have independently evaluated and charged certain cases where assaults against police officers, destruction, and looting are alleged. This conduct is completely unacceptable and will be prosecuted aggressively when it is supported by the evidence.
The Manhattan D.A.’s office represents the People of New York in our justice system, and we are answerable to the People. Our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard.”