Today, LDF submitted written testimony urging the New York City Council Public Safety Committee to eliminate funding for the NYPD Strategic Response Group (SRG) and invest funds in local communities. The Council is currently beginning its preliminary budget process. The SRG is known for using aggressive policing tactics, particularly against protesters exercising their First Amendment Rights, which was especially evident during the 2020 protests. In the interest of public safety, the funds that have historically been used for SRG should instead be invested in youth services, healthcare, and non-police safety initiatives in communities that have most negatively impacted by polce practices in New York.
LDF is deeply concerned by the Strategic Response Group’s presence in New York City as a specialized unit that notoriously uses force, arrests, and dangerous tactical strategies such as kettling against demonstrators as they exercise their First Amendment rights. In New York and elsewhere, specialized units such as SRG have a history of discrimination, abuse of power, and a lack of accountability.
Read the full testimony here.
Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.