Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is joining the NY State probe into the NYPD crackdown on George Floyd protests.
NYPost reports the New York attorney general has enlisted former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to probe violent clashes between the NYPD and George Floyd protesters, the office announced Wednesday.
“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,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “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.”
James — who announced last month that her office would look into police behavior during the recent protests over the Minneapolis police-brutality death of Floyd — said Lynch and New York University Professor Barry Friedman would be special advisers during the probe.
During her tenure at the Department of Justice, Lynch led investigations into several police departments over potential misconduct.
Notably, Lynch investigated the Chicago Police Department following the death of Laquan McDonald, finding the department regularly used “unjustified” and “excessive” force, which spurred reforms and community input.
More controversially, Lynch was subpoenaed to testify before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees in 2018 over her handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.
Former FBI Director James Comey — who was also subpoenaed to testify about not investigating Clinton over the email scandal — has said that he was troubled by Lynch’s pro-Clinton bias and that he received a report in March 2016 suggesting that Lynch was trying to stop the investigation.
“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,” Lynch said.
Friedman heads the Policing Project at NYU Law which works with communities and the police to foster safety through public engagement on policing practices.
“We know that our communities are best served and protected when all stakeholders have a seat at the table, not just those in power,” Friedman said. “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.”
“The Attorney General is the highest ranking law enforcement official in the state. We will continue to work closely with her and her office,” said NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Mary Frances O’Donnell.