Case: DOJ Investigation of Suffolk County Police Department

No Court

Filed Date: 2009

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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 r…

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.

Summary Authors

Richard Jolly (11/28/2014)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Capers, Robert L. (New York)

Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)

Currie, Kelly T. (New York)

Dominguez-Reese, Silvia J. (District of Columbia)

Goldberger, Michael J. (New York)

Lynch, Loretta (New York)

Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judith (Judy) C. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)

Capers, Robert L. (New York)

Coon, Laura (District of Columbia)

Currie, Kelly T. (New York)

Dominguez-Reese, Silvia J. (District of Columbia)

Goldberger, Michael J. (New York)

Lynch, Loretta (New York)

Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judith (Judy) C. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Dennis M. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2009

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Department of Justice investigation of the policies and practices of Suffolk County Police Department

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Suffolk County Police Department (Suffolk), County

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Due Process

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2014 - 0

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Reporting

Provide antidiscrimination training

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Discrimination Prohibition

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Excessive force

Language access/needs

Discrimination-basis:

Immigration status

Language discrimination

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Language:

Spanish

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic