Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) issued the following statement on the Justice Department’s Civil Investigation into the Mount Vernon, NY Police Department.
On Friday, the 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, abusive tactics and targets on residents and youth, primarily Black, of Mount Vernon, New York.
This investigation comes after Congressman Jamaal Bowman called for a Department of Justice investigation into civil rights violations along with Mayor Patterson-Howard and District Attorney Rocah earlier this year in May. Their leadership is a reflection of new political leaders in Westchester that are committed to just policing and accountability.
“It pains me deeply to know of Mount Vernon residents’ experiences with the Mount Vernon Police Department. Our country has a long, traumatic history of police abuses on civilians that has become heightened with increasing documentation of injustices from law enforcement officials, in addition to a growing public display and rhetoric of hate and intolerance.”
“In Mount Vernon and beyond, enough is enough. Generational cycles of abuse at the hands of law enforcement must come to an end. We need a justice system - police included, to start from a place of compassion and not malice. We need a complete transformation of law enforcement so that it is ethical and restorative. I will do everything in my power to support the City of Mount Vernon through this investigation. The people cannot be ignored.”