Showing posts with label Letitia James. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Letitia James. Show all posts

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Letitia James suspends campaign for governor

New York Attorney General Letitia James suspended her campaign for governor Thursday, saying she will run for reelection to her current position to “finish the job” amid numerous ongoing investigations, including one into former President Donald Trump.

James ended her campaign for governor the same day it was reported she was seeking to have Trump sit for a Jan. 7 deposition in an ongoing civil probe into his business practices.

James released the following statement as to why she suspended her campaign:

I have come to the conclusion that I must continue my work as attorney general.

There are a number of important investigations and cases that are underway, and I intend to finish the job.

I am running for re-election to complete the work New Yorkers elected me to do.

Friday, October 29, 2021

New York Attorney General Letitia James announces run for governor

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced via Twitter on Friday that she is running for governor in 2022.

James’s candidacy, which was expected, sets up a primary contest against Gov. Kathy Hochul, another Democrat, who intends to seek election on her own after assuming office on the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

If elected, the 63-year-old Brooklyn resident James would be the first Black woman to be governor of a U.S. state.

Watch her announcement video below:

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Representatives Hakeem Jeffries statement on Gov. Coumo sexual harassment report

Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03) and Gregory Meeks (NY-05) issued the following joint statement after a report by State Attorney General, Letitia James found that the harassment claimed by a number of the Governor Coumo's accusers is in violation of state and federal law:

“The office of Attorney General Tish James conducted a complete, thorough and professional investigation of the disturbing allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo. The investigation has found that the Governor engaged in abusive behavior toward women, including subordinates, created a hostile work environment and violated state and federal law. We commend the brave women who came forward and spoke truth to power. The time has come for Governor Andrew Cuomo to do the right thing for the people of New York State and resign.”

Saturday, May 22, 2021

NY Attorney General Letitia James Announces Robust Reforms to Police Use of Force Laws

New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced legislation to change New York state's laws governing police violence to strengthen prosecutors’ ability to hold police officers accountable for unjustified and excessive use of force. The Police Accountability Act — the most far-reaching use of force reform in the nation — seeks to amend New York’s law that justifies police use of force, which currently sets an exceedingly high standard for prosecuting police officers who have improperly used deadly or excessive force. The centerpiece of the legislation seeks to amend the use of force law from one of simple necessity to one of absolute last resort, mandating that police officers only use force after all other alternatives have been exhausted. The legislation will also establish new criminal penalties for police officers who employ force that is grossly in excess of what is warranted in an interaction with civilians.

“For far too long, police officers in this country have been able to evade accountability for the unjustified use of excessive and lethal force,” said Attorney General James. “In New York, our laws have essentially given police blanket defense to use force in interactions with the public, making it exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to go after officers who have abused this power. Not only is that gravely unjust, but it has also proven to be incredibly dangerous. The Police Accountability Act will make critical and necessary changes to the law, providing clear and legitimate standards for when the use of force is acceptable and enacting real consequences for when an officer crosses that line. While this is an important step in addressing the shortfalls of our criminal justice system, it is not a cure all for the ills that have impacted too many families and claimed too many lives. We must continue to do everything in our power to protect our communities and ensure that no one is beyond the reach of justice.”

Overview of the Police Accountability Act

The Police Accountability Act (S.6615) includes a series of reforms aimed at improving protocols and strengthening accountability measures when police officers use force, especially lethal force. These legislative reforms are intended to reduce deaths at the hands of police by ensuring that police officers adhere to practices and tactics that aim to preserve life and only use lethal force as a last resort, while providing prosecutors with appropriate tools to potentially hold officers accountable when an individual dies after an interaction with police.

1) Use of Force Must Be A Last Resort

Current law: New York’s current law does not require officers to exhaust other options, such as de-escalation, verbal warnings, or lower level uses of force, before using force, including lethal force.

Police Accountability Act reform: The Police Accountability Act seeks to amend this law by establishing a “last resort” standard, whereby use of force must be a last resort that officers can only employ when there are no reasonable alternatives to avoiding force or reducing the force used. Officers must instead exhaust alternatives, including de-escalation, lower levels of force, verbal warnings, and other methods.

2) Simple Suspicion of Criminal Conduct Cannot Justify Lethal Force

Current law: New York’s current use of force law authorizes police to use lethal force based simply on an officer’s reasonable belief that an individual committed a particular crime — a certain category of felony or attempt to commit a felony — and irrespective of whether the individual presents a danger to the officer or another person at the time.

Police Accountability Act reform: The Police Accountability Act seeks to eliminate justification for lethal force when an officer simply suspects an individual has engaged in particular criminal conduct. Lethal force should only be used in the most exigent of circumstances and demands higher standards of proof before an officer may use lethal force.

3) Allow Prosecutors to Evaluate if Police Conduct Led to Need for Use of Force

Current law: New York’s current law justifying police use of force does not provide a mechanism for prosecutors to consider an officer’s own responsibility for creating the need for force in the first place.

Police Accountability Act reform: The Police Accountability Act seeks to explicitly allow prosecutors to consider whether an officer’s conduct created a substantial and unjustifiable risk that force would become necessary. Where that is the case, an officer may not avail themselves of the justification defense.

) Establish Standards and Criminal Penalties to Prevent Excessive Use of Police Force

The Police Accountability Act — sponsored by State Senator Kevin Parker in the Senate and to be sponsored by Assemblymember N. Nick Perry in the Assembly — seeks to establish criminal penalties for police officers who employ force that is grossly in excess of what is warranted under the circumstances and where that force causes physical injury or death. The level of charge would depend on the severity of the injuries caused.

“Our legal system makes it far too difficult to achieve fairness where police violence is concerned,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “This legislative proposal will provide the tools necessary to hold wrongdoers accountable and move us closer to justice. I thank Attorney General James for her efforts on this important issue and look forward to working with her to get it done.”

“Currently, the ‘excessive use of force’ is a term of poetry in the state of New York. This important legislation corrects that and defines it in the law,” said State Senator Kevin Parker. “This creates a reasonable expectation for law enforcement as well as the people of our great state. Thank you to the attorney general for your leadership on this important issue.”

“The use of excessive force by police officers has not only taken loved ones and family members, but is also a continuous scourge for our communities,” said State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “The Police Accountability Act will make it clearly understood that the state of New York will not tolerate individuals in law enforcement who deviate from the mission of protecting and serving and instead attempt to incorrectly take justice into their own hands. To minimize the occurrences of unjustified uses of force, accountability and consequences are necessary. Establishing explicit standards and expectations for officers, coupled with criminal penalties, will create a system where justice is equitable and responsibility can be had. Techniques such as de-escalation are proven to work and should be emphasized as being necessary and commonly used tools, and in many occurrences can be substituted for the use of force. The Police Accountability Act is a landmark set of reforms that will work to answer the shortcomings in our current criminal justice system and work to protect many communities. I would like to thank New York Attorney General Letitia James for her dedication and continuous work of ensuring that justice is fair and even-handed for all New Yorkers.”

“Today, we answer the call of the people of New York state who have spoken up loudly and clearly,” said Assemblymember Nick Perry. “I am proud to sponsor the Police Accountability Act in the New York Assembly to reform police use of force laws in New York state. I do so on behalf of all those men and women who were taken from their families and loved ones far too soon because police used unjustified and excessive force. The shoot first mentality must end, whether you are wearing a badge or not. This act will save lives, and make the use of deadly force, an absolute last resort.”

“Misconduct and abuse of power has become culturally engrained within our police forces, and we must work together to bring it to an end,” said Assemblymember Catalina Cruz. “The unjustified and excessive use of force, as well as the lack of accountability, are destroying the relationship between the police and the communities they have been tasked to serve. These critical initiatives will begin to change that. I want to thank the attorney general for her bold and forward-facing leadership, and I am proud to stand in support and as an ally in the fight to strengthen and protect our communities.”

“There is no question that our criminal justice system is in need of drastic reform,” said Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner. “For far too long, police officers have gotten away with putting people’s lives in danger without facing consequence of any kind. Not only is that unjust, but it’s deeply painful for those of us who have lost family members to police violence. I commend Attorney General James for taking this bold and necessary action to reform New York’s laws and ensure that we have more tools available to hold officers accountable who use unnecessary deadly force.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

AG Letitia James Sues Trump Administration Over Unlawful Regulations Restricting Coronavirus-Based Paid Sick Leave

New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration challenging its rule that unlawfully narrows workers’ rights to paid sick leave and emergency family leave during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The regulations put forth by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) contradict the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and risk denying vital financial support during an unprecedented crisis and exposing workers, their families, and their communities to unnecessary spread of COVID-19.

Additionally, Attorney General James filed a motion for summary judgment, requesting that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York block the Trump Administration’s regulations and restore the FFCRA to its intended effect.

“As the efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 continue, I will continue to leverage the powers of my office to serve as a frontline defense for protecting the rights of people, especially those who need a hand up at this time,” said Attorney General James. “The paid sick leave and emergency family leave provisions of the FFCRA were enacted to protect public health and to provide economic security to working families. The Trump Administration’s rule makes it harder for New Yorkers and Americans throughout the country to claim these paid benefits, which unnecessarily puts more workers at risk of exposure to COVID-19. I will fight to prevent that from happening.”

In what is the first-ever federal law mandating the right to paid leave for private sector workers in the country’s history, the FFCRA, enacted on March 18, includes key provisions requiring job-protected paid sick leave and emergency family leave for employees unable to work due to COVID-19. Up to 61 million employees are potentially eligible for paid sick leave or emergency family leave under the FFCRA. Congress enacted the paid sick leave and emergency family leave provisions in the FFCRA both to stem the rate of coronavirus transmission—by encouraging sick workers to stay home but still be paid—and to protect the economic well-being of workers who must stay at home to care for their children during this period of unprecedented national disruption. The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions assist in the implementation of the directives laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calling for residents to take the necessary steps to lessen the spread of COVID-19, and protect themselves, their families, and their communities from devastating harm.

On April 1, DOL published a rule to implement the paid sick leave and emergency family leave requirements of the FFCRA. In the lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Attorney General James argues that the new rule violates the law by:

*Unlawfully denying paid sick leave and emergency family leave to otherwise eligible employees if the employer determines—for any reason—that the employer does not have work for the employee; and

*Enabling the denial of the FFCRA’s paid sick leave and emergency family leave benefits to large classes of otherwise eligible workers by including them in an unlawfully broad definition of “health care provider.”

Further, Attorney General James also argues that DOL exceeds its authority under the FFCRA by:

*Prohibiting employees from taking their paid sick leave or emergency family leave intermittently absent their employer’s consent; and

*Conditioning an employee’s eligibility for paid sick leave or emergency family leave on the employee having previously provided documentation to the employer, including such unspecified documentation as may be required by a separate federal agency.

This case is being handled by Special Counsel to the Solicitor General Eric Haren and Assistant Attorneys General Fiona Kaye and Daniela Nogueira of the Division of Federal Initiatives, under the supervision of Chief Counsel for Federal Initiatives Matthew Colangelo.

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Letitia James sworn in as New York Attorney General

The state of New York has a new attorney general and she is, literally, like no one who has ever held the office before.

Democrat Letitia James was sworn in as New York's 67th Attorney General late Monday in a ceremony at the state capitol in Albany. James, 60, is the state's first black attorney general and the first woman ever elected to that state-wide office.

In a statement, James said it was the highest honor to officially begin her time as New York's attorney general and that she "will never waiver" on upholding the promise to "use the rule of law to protect the rights and advance the interest of all New Yorkers." She's slated to participate in an inauguration ceremony later in the day on Jan. 1, according to her office.

James, who is a long-time New York City politician, replaces Democrat Barbara Underwood, who was appointed to the post when former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned last year after multiple women came forward to accuse him of physical and verbal abuse.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Letitia James Is Elected New York Attorney General

Letitia James was overwhelmingly elected as the attorney general of New York on Tuesday, shattering a trio of racial and gender barriers and placing herself in position to be at the forefront of the country’s legal bulwark against the policies of President Trump.

With her victory over Republican nominee Keith H. Wofford, Ms. James, 60, the public advocate for New York City, becomes the first woman in New York to be elected as attorney general, the first African-American woman to be elected to statewide office and the first black person to serve as attorney general.

The victory follows a rugged political season that arose after the surprise resignation of former attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, following charges that he physically abused multiple women. Ms. James will succeed Barbara D. Underwood, who was appointed by the State Legislature in May to complete Mr. Schneiderman’s term.


Friday, September 14, 2018

Letitia James Makes History by Winning Attorney General Primary in New York

Letitia James became the first black woman to win a major party statewide nomination on Thursday, easily defeating three rivals in New York’s Democratic primary for attorney general.

With her win, Ms. James, 59, the New York City public advocate, has positioned herself as a prominent face of resistance to the policies of President Trump, a role that the New York attorney general’s office has embraced since Mr. Trump took office.

“This campaign was never really about me or any of the candidates who ran,” Ms. James said in her victory speech. “It was about the people, but mostly it was about that man in the White House who can’t go a day without threatening our fundamental rights.”

With Democrats outnumbering Republicans in New York State by a margin of more than two to one, Ms. James will be heavily favored in November against the Republican candidate, Keith Wofford, 49, who ran unopposed. If Ms. James wins, she would be the first black woman to assume statewide office, just five years after becoming the first black woman elected to citywide office in New York.

Read more: Letitia James Makes History by Winning Attorney General Primary in New York

Friday, May 25, 2018

Democrat Letitia James is running for New York State Attorney General

With enthusiastic screams of "Run Tish Run" echoing through the hall, state Democrats nominated city Public Advocate Letitia James for attorney general.

James picked up over 85% of the delegate vote to win the nomination over Fordham Law Prof. Zephyr Teachout and former Gov. Cuomo and Hillary Clinton aide Leecia Eve.

In accepting the nomination, James warned that constitutional rights are under attack in Washington and that "the attorney general stands at the vanguard as a wall of protection, not a wall of exclusion."

"I'm so proud you bestowed on me this designation because I'm well prepared for the fight ahead," she said.

James went into the convention the heavy favorite, having won the endorsement of Gov. Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and some key labor unions.

Her candidacy fell into place quickly since the position wasn't even in play as Eric Schneiderman cruised toward a third term. But all that changed on May 7 when Schneiderman abruptly resigned in disgrace hours after New Yorker magazine released a story alleging he physically assaulted four women.