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New York attorney general recommends independent panel oversee NYPD instead of mayor

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James proposed an independent panel to oversee the New York City Police Department instead of the mayor’s office.

James detailed a series of police misconduct incidents that took place during recent protests related to the death of George Floyd in a Wednesday report that included recommendations to restructure the department. She said that the protests have depleted New Yorkers’ beliefs in the department and that the police commissioner should be appointed by an independent panel that should also oversee the hiring and firing of officers.

“It is impossible to deny that many New Yorkers have lost faith in law enforcement,” James said. “I believe we need to bridge the undeniable divide between police and the public.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio rejected the push, saying the mayor’s office doesn’t believe transferring power from the mayor to an independent panel would help reform policing.

“While we thank the attorney general for her investigation and look forward to reviewing the report in full and working together to further reform policing in this city, we do not believe creating a commission to oversee the NYPD does that,” spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein told the New York Times.

James’s report also called for the suspension of police use of aggressive crowd control tactics. The attorney general additionally called on lawmakers to uphold rules about the use of force laid out in the department’s patrol guide, which would make it easier to prosecute officers who violate them.

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