University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Suffolk County Police Department PN-NY-0040
Docket / Court docket unknown ( No Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Policing
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On November 25, 2008, the LatinoJustice PRLDEF of New York filed a complaint letter with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division demanding that the federal government look into the Suffolk County Police Department. They alleged that the Department had deprived Latinos equal access to ... read more >
On November 25, 2008, the LatinoJustice PRLDEF of New York filed a complaint letter with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division demanding that the federal government look into the Suffolk County Police Department. They alleged that the Department had deprived Latinos equal access to the law, both by failing to adequately investigate crimes committed against Latinos by whites and by discouraging Latinos from seeking assistance from local law enforcement agencies.

Though it made no reference to the complaint letter, on September 1, 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York initiated a joint investigation of the Suffolk County Police Department, pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. On September 13, 2011, the United States issued a Technical Assistance Letter which provided preliminary observations, advice and recommendations. These recommendations included modifying polices for patrolling and policing in the Latino community, updating reporting polices of the Department's hate crimes unit, revising procedures for misconduct investigations, implementing greater supervision and accountability procedures, providing additional training to officers based on specific outcome markers, and enhancing community outreach programs.

On January 13, 2014, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. The settlement incorporated the recommendations of the Technical Assistance Letter. Furthermore, it was agreed that a compliance coordinator would be appointed to coordinate compliance and implementation activity. Finally, the County agreed to produce a self-assessment compliance report every six months until the agreement terminated. The agreement was set to terminate in three years, but may terminate prior to this if the County maintained substantial compliance with each of the settlement provisions for at least twelve months.

Richard Jolly - 11/28/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
Language discrimination
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Excessive force
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Language
Spanish
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Suffolk County Police Department
Plaintiff Description Department of Justice investigation of the policies and practices of Suffolk County Police Department
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2014 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Re: Suffolk County Police Department Technical Assistance Letter 09/13/2011
PN-NY-0040-0002.pdf | Detail
United States Agrees to Comprehensive Settlement with Suffolk County Police Department to Resolve Investigation of Discriminatory Policing Against Latinos 12/03/2013
PN-NY-0040-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Agreement between the United States Department of Justice and Suffolk County Police Department 01/13/2014
PN-NY-0040-0003.pdf | Detail
Correspondence Re: Assessment of SCPD's Compliance with the Settlement Agreement 06/26/2015
PN-NY-0040-0004.pdf | Detail
Correspondence Re: Assessment of SCPD's Compliance with the Settlement Agreement 12/14/2015
PN-NY-0040-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0003
Capers, Robert L. (New York)
PN-NY-0040-0005
Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0002 | PN-NY-0040-0003 | PN-NY-0040-0004 | PN-NY-0040-0005
Currie, Kelly T. (New York)
PN-NY-0040-0004
Dominguez-Reese, Silvia J. (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0002 | PN-NY-0040-0003
Goldberger, Michael J. (New York)
PN-NY-0040-0002 | PN-NY-0040-0003 | PN-NY-0040-0004 | PN-NY-0040-0005
Lynch, Loretta (New York)
PN-NY-0040-0003 | PN-NY-0040-0006
Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0002 | PN-NY-0040-0003
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0004 | PN-NY-0040-0005
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0006
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0040-0002 | PN-NY-0040-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Dennis M. (New York)
PN-NY-0040-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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