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AG Launches Investigation to See Whether NYPD Has Been Targeting Minorities on Subways

Police arrested and tasered a youth at the 111th St. station in October (Photo: Twitter Sen. Jessica Ramos)

Jan. 13, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The New York Attorney General announced today that she has launched an investigation to see whether the NYPD has been targeting communities of color when it comes to fare evasion.

Attorney General Letitia James has sent a letter to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea requesting that he provide data and various reports that may indicate whether officers have exhibited racial biases in arresting or summonsing people for turnstile jumping.

James noted that current and former NYPD officers have given sworn statements alleging that the department had an unofficial policy of targeting minorities for fare evasion through to at least 2015.

She noted that this alleged discrimination may still be continuing today as the groups are overrepresented in recent fare evasion violation data.

Black and Hispanic New Yorkers made up nearly 90 percent of the arrests for fare evasion between October 2017 and June 2019, according to James. The two groups account for a little over 50 percent of the city’s population.

“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,” James said in a statement.

In October, a photo of a teen who had been tasered by police at a Corona subway station went viral when it was tweeted by State Sen. Jessica Ramos with the caption “All of this for $2.75?!?!”

The NYPD was criticized for the use of force, but the department said officers were responding to report of the teens threatening one another with knives.

Last month, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Board approved the hiring of 500 additional transit police officers to crack down on fare evasions, despite pushback from local lawmakers.

James said her office won’t think twice about using any investigative means necessary if the NYPD fails to cooperate.

“While we are hopeful that the NYPD will cooperate thoroughly with this investigation, we will not hesitate to use every investigative tool at our disposal to protect subway riders and the people of this city,” she said.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson applauded James for launching the investigation.

“For decades, law enforcement has disproportionately impacted communities of color and as we reform our criminal justice system we need to know if this practice is continuing with fare evasion,” Johnson said.

James Letter by Queens Post on Scribd

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20 Comments

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YoDasRacist

Is it at all possible that the people being caught for fare evasion are the majority of the ones committing the crime? Is it really a race issue?

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Laura

Not all train hopper’s motives are genuine but the larger problem is still income inequality!! Poor people are poor because of over 150 years of segregation and racism in the city. The NYPD needs to stop targeting Blacks and Latinos on the subway.

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Latinos4Trump

There are plenty of poor Whites, too. Apparently they don’t jump turnstiles. Just sayin’.

The NYPD is “targeting” those who are illegally beating the fare. Your virtue-signaling sociology BS doesn’t fly.

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People still say "virtue signalling" unironically?!

In thought it was only used mockingly to make fun of Trump lovers now? Do you still say “cuck” too? lmao so dated

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Anonymous

How about very simply people pay their fare. Also why is it ok to make racism accusations about the police but never ask the same questions of the community??? If the non payment rate is higher in urban neighborhoods (it is), and the serious crime is being committed in those same communities then why is everyone afraid to call it out and address it?

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Mac

I was at the 14th Street and 8th Avenue station on Saturday waiting for a friend who was late. I was by the token booth over an hour and strangely a stop as ethnically diverse as this station, I noticed a large amount of fare evasion and it was all not mostly it was all, just two ethnic groups who in reality are not minorities in this city. I did not see one Asian or Caucasian who are actually minorities in this city go through the emergency exit gate or under the turnstile. This administration is turning people who were never racist into racist. Good work Bill and Letitia, congratulations.

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Erik

I wonder why this stuff never happens in Korea or Japan? Could it be because those countries are homogeneous? Also on the other why doesn’t this stuff happens in very assimilated societies like the Netherlands?

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Jose

Some argue that these fare evaders can not afford to pay the transit fee and it is not right to go after them. Growing up poor, whenever I wanted to save some money (and buy some snacks) I would walk to school if possible despite having a discounted train and bus fare from the city. This is because I did not feel anyone including my parents and public officials would support me by claiming I “jumped the turnstile” because I could not afford it or I was being targeted because I was poor like these fare evaders have nowadays so I never did it.

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Nicole

Ultimately, the NYPD will cut down on stopping, ticketing and arresting people for breaking the law and then we will get a statement from our Mayor and the head of the MTA saying how crime is down on the subways. Its similar to what they have been doing when responding to calls in our neighborhood and crime statistics in NYC refusing to take reports, turning a blind eye and calling things a “civil matter” and not a criminal one.

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Pat Macnamara

Litigious Letitia is at it again! Let’s cry racism and empower those who are not paying the fare. The kid in that photo is sporting the $250 Air Jordan Retro 11 sneakers, $50 Champion sweatpants, and the $45-$55 Nike sweatshirt. The skidmarked fruit of the looms that are on display are probably $2.50 a pair. They are young enough to have school metro cards-3 swipes a day. Break the law get arrested. No cash bail so they are out in no time to hop the turnstiles again. They won’t show if they even have a court appearance.

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Pat Macnamaracist is angry about minorities again!

This story isn’t about him. It’s about stats from October 2017 and June 2019. Did you just look at the picture? Lmao!

Pat you don’t have Air Jordans in the nursing home, stop pretending you know anything about them.

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Minority is angry about Pat Macnamara again!

Where’s your responses to the other racist messages that are posted? Or are you only obsessed with Pat Macnamara?

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Not a minority lol

Trump lovers forget this: you don’t have to be a minority to not be a raging bigot like Pat Macnamaracist.

Where are my other responses? On the other comments. Do you understand how comments work?

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pat macnamara

prove my comments are racist-you can’t. You, like countless others, when faces with a different opinion/viewpoint crumble and call the opposition racist. Nonsense.

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Salvatore Coppola

Over 50% of the population and you call them minority’s, this is a joke it’s not all about 275 it’s about breaking the law

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Truth Hurts

What if the percentages of fare evaders among the caucasians, africans, hispanics, and others are not the same? I almost all the time observe 2 certain groups who jump turnstiles and skip paying on the buses unfortunately.

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