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Old 01-14-2020, 10:27 AM
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Default Black female State AG probing NYPD for ‘racial biases’ in fare-evasion crackdown


State AG probing NYPD for ‘racial biases’ in fare-evasion crackdown

By Priscilla DeGregory and Craig McCarthy
January 13, 2020 | 4:49pm | Updated

New York Attorney General Letitia James William Farrington

The New York Attorney General is probing whether the NYPD has shown “racial biases” against people of color as it polices fare evasion.

The investigation was announced Monday just weeks after bombshell testimony from transit cops alleging racist quotas in the subway system and months after a judge ordered the department to publish its transit enforcement numbers — detailed data that still remains secret.

“We’ve all read the stories and seen the disturbing videos of men, women, and children being harassed, dragged away, and arrested by officers in our city’s subway system, which is why we are launching an investigation into this deeply troublesome conduct,” AG Letitia James said in announcing the push.

People of color accounted for almost 70 percent of summonses for fare evasion between October 2017 and June 2019 — and nearly 90 percent of arrests over the same time, NYPD data shows.

“That information, however, does not provide a complete picture of fare evasion enforcement within New York City’s transit system,” James wrote in a letter to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea requesting more detailed enforcement information to “fill in the gaps.”

The state investigators are asking for patrol numbers, policies, plans of coordination between department and MTA and detailed demographic data Oct. 7, 2017, to present on theft-of-service summonses broken out by station by age and race.

Last month, new court documents alleged much of that disparity was due to policing tactics that targeted people of color over “soft targets” such as white, Asain and Jewish people.

In a federal lawsuit filed by Sgt. Edreweene Raymond and three others, the current second-highest-ranking cop in the transit bureau, Constantin Tsachas, is accused of enforcing the tactics.

Much of that data being sought was ordered by state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron to be released last year in response to a lawsuit filed by City Councilman Rory Lancman in April.

The Queens lawmaker argued that the NYPD was not following Administrative Code §14-172 by only releasing enforcement data on the top 10 subways stations and vague numbers on 80 others.

Data for the second half of 2019 has yet to be made public.

“Transit officers patrol day and night to keep six million daily riders safe and enforce the law fairly and equally without consideration of race or ethnicity,” NYPD Acting Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Devora Kaye, said when asked for a comment on probe

MTA spokesman Ken Lovett added: “All MTA customers are entitled to fair and equal treatment under the law. Fare evasion is a $300 million annual problem that should be addressed in a way that does not unjustly target any specific group or community.”
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