University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name DOJ Investigation of the Yonkers Police Department PN-NY-0041
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
In 2007, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, initiated a civil investigation of the policies and practices of the Yonkers, New York Police ... read more >
In 2007, the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), with the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, initiated a civil investigation of the policies and practices of the Yonkers, New York Police Department (YPD), pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 and the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. § 3789d.

On June 9, 2009, the DOJ issued a substantial 41-page Technical Assistance Letter (PN-NY-0041-0001). The letter noted concerns and made recommendations in the following areas: the content, organization and overall structure of the YPD Policy and Procedure Manual; use of force policies and procedures; investigation of citizen complaints; supervisory oversight structure; training program and materials; community relations; and personnel issues.

The report led to many years of negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement. According to the City of Yonkers, the investigation was officially completed in April of 2012. From 2012-2016, while the negotiations were ongoing, the City worked to make changes to its programs.

On November 14, 2016, the DOJ, the City of Yonkers, and the YPD reached an agreement. The agreement included provisions regarding use-of-force policies; evaluation, documentation, and review of uses of force; stops, searches and arrests; a misconduct complaint process; discipline; management and supervision; community policing; and training; review, reporting, and implementation.

More specifically, the provisions regarding use-of-force policies stated that YPD would: maintain use-of-force policies that define terms clearly, clarify use-of-force options available to officers, limit use of force to circumstances in which it is reasonable, provide that unreasonable force may yield consequences, and explicitly prohibit particular types of use of force.

The provisions regarding stops, searches and arrests specified that YPD would: maintain and implement clear policies on investigatory stops and detentions; permit such stops and detentions only where the officer has reasonable suspicion that criminal activity or a violation of law has been or is about to be committed.

Per the agreement, YPD agreed to develop a system to collect data on investigatory stops and searches, which will require recording specific details (including the officer’s name and badge number, the subject’s apparent race, ethnicity, gender and age, and the reason for the stop). Consultants would conduct compliance reviews to ensure that YPD has implemented the measures in the agreement and issue public reports based on their reviews.

The agreement was set to be terminated once two years had passed, provided that compliance was maintained for no less than 12 months.

Richard Jolly - 11/29/2014
Julie Singer - 03/10/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Reporting
Training
Warrant/order for search or seizure
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
False arrest
Improper use of canines
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Pattern or Practice
Pepper/OC spray
Racial profiling
Restraints : chemical
Watchlist
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Defendant(s) Yonkers Police Department
Plaintiff Description DOJ Investigation of the polices and practices of the Yonkers 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 2016 - 2018
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Links An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Written: Jan. 04, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  New York City to Pay Up to $75 Million Over Dismissed Summonses
New York Times
Written: Jan. 23, 2017
By: Benjamin Weiser (New York Times)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Written: Jan. 04, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ 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)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
[Untitled Findings Letter, 2009]
PN-NY-0041-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/09/2009
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Press Release
PN-NY-0041-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Agreement [Between DOJ and Yonkers Police Department]
PN-NY-0041-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Yonkers Police Department and U.S. Department of Justice Sign Agreement Closing Investigation Into Alleged Police Practices
PN-NY-0041-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/14/2016
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)
PN-NY-0041-0004
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0041-0001
Dassin, Lev L. (New York)
PN-NY-0041-0001
Gupta, Vanita (New York)
PN-NY-0041-0004
Kennedy, David J. (New York)
PN-NY-0041-0001
King, Loretta (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0041-0001
Onozawa, Tomoko (New York)
PN-NY-0041-0004
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0041-0004
Volek, Jude (District of Columbia)
PN-NY-0041-0004
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -