ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A lawsuit filed by the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association (NYSTPBA) accuses Letitia James (AG), New York’s attorney general, of abusing new police oversight rules. The union says the AG took advantage of 70-b rules for investigations into incidents involving police.
The union says the rule was designed as a result of officer-involved shootings. It points to a car crash in the Syracuse area where an-off duty trooper and friend were in a head-on collision with a car driving the wrong way.
According to the lawsuit, James’ office inappropriately questioned the trooper while hospitalized to ask for a blood-alcohol test. “Just because you wear a uniform, you should not lose your rights as a citizen, especially when you are involved in an off-duty incident unrelated to any law enforcement official action,” said NYSTPBA President Thomas H. Mungeer. “We as police officers aren’t asking for special rights, just equal protection that is afforded to all other citizens.”
The lawsuit, filed in Albany County Supreme Court, seeks a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against James and the AG’s Office of Special Investigations. It says that James has taken an overly broad interpretation of Executive Law §70-b which empowers her office “to investigate and prosecute an offense or offenses committed by a police officer, whether on-duty or off-duty, which results in the death of an individual, whether armed or unarmed.”
Take a look at the lawsuit below: