Corruption within the New York Police Department has been somewhat of an open secret, from unlawful breaking and entering and police brutality to a mass retirement of officers in 2020 that many took as spiteful following Black Lives Matter protests.
The latest report putting the NYPD in a negative light comes by way of a lawsuit from The Legal Aid Society that accuses cops of secretly collecting over 32,000 genetic samples from New York citizens for storage in a “rogue” DNA database.
According to CBS News, the lawsuit states that NYPD routinely pulled a fast one on criminal suspects by offering them a beverage, cigarette or chewing gum during questioning, then collecting DNA from those items. The Legal Aid Society claims this has been going on for decades, with some victims being as young as 11 years old. “The NYPD then continuously compares past and future crime scene DNA evidence against this database,” they said in a Facebook announcement earlier this week (seen above), adding that it eventually led to “wrongful arrests and prosecutions.”
More on how the database was operating below, via CBS News:
“The genetic material is stored and cataloged in a ‘suspect index’ that puts people’s DNA profiles through ‘a genetic lineup that compares the profiles against all past and future crime scene DNA evidence — all without obtaining a warrant or court order to conduct these DNA searches,’ the lawsuit says.
‘Thousands of New Yorkers, most of whom are Black and brown, and many of whom have never been convicted of any crime, are illegally in the city’s rogue DNA database, which treats people as suspects in every crime involving DNA,’ Phil Desgranges, the Legal Aid Society’s supervising attorney in the special litigation unit of the criminal defense practice, said in a news release.
The class action lawsuit was filed by two Legal Aid clients who say their DNA was collected without their consent. It names New York City, several top police officials and the city’s chief medical examiner as defendants.”
Some city officials have come to defense of the New York Police Department, including the chief medical officer’s office that said in a statement, “The local DNA database complies with all applicable laws and is managed and used in accordance with the highest scientific standards set by independent accrediting bodies that have regularly reapproved the existence of the database.” Sgt. Edward Riley, a police spokesperson, echoed those sentiments by adding, “The NYPD’s investigations and tactics, including the collection of DNA, are guided by what is authorized by the law, the wealth of case law from the courts, and the best practices of the law enforcement community.”
Is DNA collecting helping us fight crime from a microscopic level or does it prematurely brand innocent people as criminals? Let us know you thoughts on this eye-opening revelation.
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