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NYPD Rescinds Police-as-Prosecutors Agreement With Manhattan DA (New York Law Journal)

New York Law Journal, March 13, 2018

NYPD Rescinds Police-as-Prosecutors Agreement With Manhattan DA

“The New York City Police Department has backed out of a two-year arrangement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in which department legal staff appeared as the prosecution in certain low-level cases. The practice of using police staffers as prosecutors in Summons Court had drawn criticism from activists, elected officials and members of the legal community, but Lawrence Byrne, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for legal matters, said that preparing for trials and appeals was taxing the NYPD Legal Bureau’s resources….In December, the New York City Bar Association’s criminal justice operations committee issued a report stating that the practice raises ethical and legal issues and called for it to end. The committee said that, while there appears to be few legal restrictions on district attorneys delegating their powers, past rulings by the Court of Appeals call into question the legality of delegating that authority for the purpose of avoiding civil liability.”

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