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Police union advises members to 'not cooperate' with attorney general

Dec 19, 2022 1:01 pm

Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that the executive board of the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers, the union representing thousands of state troopers, recently told its members to "not cooperate" with a special unit in the attorney general's office investigating fatal encounters in New York involving police officers. The board advised its members to invoke their Fifth Amendment right and decline to answer questions when they are compelled to testify in an attorney general's investigation of law enforcement. The union represents more than 4,000 uniformed State Police members including the ranks of trooper, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and major. "Members will not cooperate with the (State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation) in relation to the attorney general’s ... investigations," minutes from the board meeting state. "If ordered to appear for an interview members will appear with counsel and invoke their Fifth Amendment rights." The union is currently appealing a state Supreme Court justice's decision earlier this year dismissing the union's lawsuit alleging the attorney general's office is abusing its authority by investigating incidents in which a civilian dies during an encounter with a trooper who is off-duty. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order in 2015 empowering the attorney general's office to investigate deaths caused by the police. Six years later, the legislature codified that order into law. Daniel E. Strollo, the police union's general counsel, just about confirms the story. "Our troopers do not answer to the attorney general’s office. Given the current attorney general’s multiple politically motivated attacks on law enforcement, we deeply distrust her office’s motivations and willingness to conduct fair investigations. The PBA will not allow troopers to be subject to a political witch hunt." Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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