Inadequate police policies and procedures in Suffolk County have left Latinos vulnerable to racial profiling and discrimination, issues that could lead to lawsuits against the county, according to a letter released on September 14 by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The letter—which you can read here—offers the first glimpse into an ongoing federal investigation into discriminatory policing against Latinos in Suffolk.
A statement by Long Island Wins Director Maryann Sinclair Slutsky on the preliminary findings of the investigation:
Like everyone else, we’re going to take some time to process findings this comprehensive. But it’s clear that the Justice Department has identified wide-ranging and serious problems in Suffolk police policies. These preliminary findings identify gaps in police training, a record of the police discouraging complaints from the immigrant community, a pattern of failure to follow up on complaints by immigrants, the police’s inability to report or even understand certain categories of hate crimes, significant issues with internal affairs, and major confusion about how police should identify immigrants.
These findings are a black mark on Steve Levy’s record. We hope Levy will begin the process of fixing the problems identified by the Department of Justice, and Long Island Wins looks forward to working with his successor to make Suffolk County truly welcoming to the immigrants who are contributing so much to Long Island.