Outgoing Chief of Department Terence Monahan “actively encouraged and participated in [NYPD’s] unlawful behavior” during the George Floyd protests over the summer, the state attorney general charges in a scathing new court filing.
The amended complaint filed Friday by New York Attorney General Letitia James takes aim at the highest-ranking uniformed officer as he’s set to tackle public safety as a senior adviser on the mayor’s COVID task force.
It also comes the same day Monahan was scheduled to start sitting for interviews with the Civilian Complaint Review Board investigators over seven personal complaints and an unknown number of others where he may have ordered misconduct.
James says in the filing they have Monahan on video “supervising the kettling of protesters” and “directing the arrest of a protest organizer” during the controversial Mott Haven protest.
“He was also captured on video failing to adequately supervise or intervene as multiple NYPD Officers used excessive force, including baton strikes and pushes, and made unlawful arrests of peaceful protesters,” the suit say.
“Shortly after officers moved in on those trapped and arrested legal observers and medics, Chief Monahan was filmed in the same location, laughing with and providing instructions to officers as a legal observer and medics in handcuffs stood nearby.”
The police response has become the main example by James and others that the NYPD has not instituted proper reforms since the 2004 RNC protests, which cost the city millions, to ensure people’s First Amendment rights are not violated.
Monahan, who was key player in the RNC police response, was never disciplined over his role, the suit says.
The new court docs also added the NYPD’s response to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day protests and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s public comments the next day as more evidence of systemic issues.