Attorney General James Announces Special Advisors in Investigation into Interactions Between NYPD and General Public
Former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Founding Director of NYU
Policing Project Barry Friedman to help guide AG’s ongoing investigation
NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today announced the appointment of two special advisors to help guide and support her investigation into the recent interactions between the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the general public. Loretta Lynch is a former United States Attorney General, and under her leadership, the Department of Justice focused extensively on improving the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Barry Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University (NYU) School of Law and the Founder and Faculty Director of the Policing Project at NYU Law.
“The right to peacefully protest is one of our most basic civil rights, and we are working without rest to ensure that right is protected and guarded,” said Attorney General James. “As we continue our investigation, I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to seek answers and accountability, and that includes calling on the sharpest minds to lend their expertise. There is no question that Attorney General Lynch and Professor Friedman have the experience and knowledge, and our investigation will be all the more powerful because of their support.”
During her time as the United States Attorney General, Loretta Lynch led the Department of Justice’s investigations into several large police departments to determine whether agencies and police officers were engaging in patterns or practices of unlawful conduct.
Most notably, she led the investigation into the Chicago Police Department (CPD) following the death of Laquan McDonald. That investigation found that the CPD regularly used force that was “unjustified, disproportionate and otherwise excessive,” and as a result, the DOJ issued an extensive plan for reform that included community input. Attorney General Lynch also served as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Barry Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at NYU School of Law and the Founder and Faculty Director of the Policing Project at NYU Law. He is one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law, criminal procedure, and policing. He is the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s “Principles of the Law: Policing,” and the author of a book and many articles on policing.
The Policing Project partners with communities and police to promote public safety through transparency, equity, and democratic engagement. The idea is that the public should have a voice in setting transparent, ethical, and effective policing policies before the police and government act, not after. Its primary areas of work are in promoting democratic voice on the front end of policing, including around policing surveillance technologies and in exploring ways to help communities address social problems without a law enforcement response, in order to reallocate resources in ways that benefit everyone.
“There is no greater responsibility of government than the protection of its citizens,” said former United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “It is time to examine recent events to ensure that all New Yorkers receive truly equal protection under the law. I look forward to working with Attorney General James and her outstanding team on these important issues.”
“My work is dedicated to promoting public safety through transparency, equity, and democratic engagement,” said Barry Friedman, the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and the Founder and Faculty Director of the Policing Project at NYU Law. “We know that our communities are best served and protected when all stakeholders have a seat at the table, not just those in power. It’s clear New York is ready for an in-depth look at our policing polices and I appreciate the opportunity to work with Attorney General James on this investigation.”