Civil Liberties Union, Legal Aid Society File Lawsuit Against de Blasio

Eleven protesters say mayor, police commissioner directed police to use unjustifiable force

October 27, 2020

The New York City Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit against New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) and other city officials for their "unjustifiable" response to anti-police riots this summer.

The groups filed the civil complaint in federal court Monday. It accuses de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, along with other city leaders, of directing the NYPD to wield unnecessary force against rioters and protesters this summer. The suit names 11 plaintiffs who claim they were injured or unlawfully arrested by the NYPD.

"Over and again, at protests throughout the City in May and June, NYPD officers descended on protesters with unjustifiable fist and baton strikes, chemical pepper spray attacks, and other acts of physical violence," the lawsuit says.

This lawsuit is the largest brought against City Hall regarding the anti-police protests, the Washington Post reported.

By the end of September, 472 police officers were injured—in shootings, stabbings, and vehicular and explosive attacks, among other means—while responding to the riots, according to the New York Post.

The Justice Department labeled New York City an "anarchist jurisdiction" last month for city leaders' failure to support police officers and quell violent riots in the city. Shootings in the city have nearly doubled this year, coinciding with the riots' onset.