MOUNT VERNON, NY – On Friday, December 3, the United States Justice Department announced an investigation into the Mount Vernon Police Department following years of ignored claims of planted evidence, illegal body cavity searches, excessive force, many instances of excessive force, abusive tactics and targets on residents and youth, primarily Black, of Mount Vernon, New York.
State Senators Jamaal Bailey (District 36) and Alessandra Biaggi (District 34) issued the following statement:
“We commend the United States Department of Justice and the Southern District of New York for launching a civil rights investigation into the Mount Vernon Police Department to determine if they have engaged in a pattern of unlawful behavior and policing. The allegations of police corruption and brutality that have come to light are appalling and threaten the safety of Mount Vernon residents, primarily our Black neighbors. Only with accountability and transparency can we truly transform our law enforcement and criminal justice system in order to keep our communities safe from police brutality.
This investigation comes after we encouraged the Westchester District Attorney and the Department of Justice to investigate the alleged actions and pattern of dangerous behavior by the Mount Vernon Police Department. We extend our gratitude to District Attorney Mimi Rocah and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard for their leadership and commend the whistleblowers within the Mount Vernon community for their bravery and commitment to calling out injustices. We are committed to supporting the City of Mount Vernon throughout the duration of the investigation.”
Senators Bailey and Biaggi join growing list of elected officials releasing statements. This follows a statement issued by Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Monday, December 6 on the Justice Department’s Civil Investigation into the Mount Vernon.
If you missed the Justice Department press conference announcing an investigation into the patterns and practices of the Mount Vernon Police Department and the City of Mount Vernon, you can view it in its entirety here.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the DOJ and report any and all information that you may be aware of, via email, at email@example.com, by phone at 1-866-985-1378, or through the Civil Rights Division’s Civil Rights Portal, available at https://civilrights.justice.gov/.
Stay tuned to Black Westchester for more on this developing story!