Statement on Police Violence & Abuse
Adopted by the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys Delegate Council, March 22, 2000
1. In response to “Operation Condor,” ALAA reaffirms its commitment to provide each client with high-quality legal representation, including, but not limited to:
(1) Thorough pre-arraignment client interviews, under conditions that are healthy and confidential;
(2) Adherence to established arraignment shift hours;
(3) Production of incarcerated clients for each court appearance;
(4) Aggressive investigation and motion practice;
(5) Inclusion of supervising attorneys in arraignment staffing; and
(6) Appropriate legal action against, and publicity about, the pattern of false arrests and detention.
(2) In response to the systemic police abuse that plagues New York City, of which “Condor” is a prominent example, ALAA reaffirms its support for far-reaching reform, including the immediate:
(1) Abolition of the Street Crime Unit, “Operation Condor,” and all similar “search and destroy,” body count, and arrest quota units.
(2) Dismissal of Police Commissioner Howard Safir;
(3) Permanent federal monitoring of the NYPD, and implementation of such long overdue reforms as police residency requirements and abolition of the 48-hour rule;
(4) Federal prosecution of the police officers responsible for the murders of Amadou Diallo, Malcolm Ferguson, Patrick Dorismond, and others;
(5) Prosecution of each City official who illegally released sealed records of former Legal Aid Society client Patrick Dorismond;
(6) Establishment of an independent state agency to aggressively prosecute future police violence and abuse; and
(7) End to the “War on Drugs,” including the Draconian Rockefeller sentencing laws, which only serves to promote violent crime, police brutality, and mass criminalization, particularly against communities of color.