Probe of Yonkers P.D. sparks push for review board
A City Council candidate is pushing for a new civilian complaint review board to oversee the Yonkers Police Department just one day after the U.S. Justice Department announced it is launching a probe of the force.
Republican Larry Sykes is running for the 1st District council seat in Yonkers against incumbent Council Majority Leader Pat McDow (D). Sykes says one of the reasons the Yonkers P.D. is facing the federal probe is due to a lack of independent oversight into the alleged police abuse.
The federal probe concerns allegations of excessive force and discriminatory policing in the department. Sykes says the independent board would investigate allegations of police misconduct, including excessive force, use of abusive language and abuse of power. It is those kind of allegations that Pace Law School Professor and former prosecutor Bennett Gershman says are likely prompting the federal investigation.
Council incumbent McDow says the outline for such a civilian complaint board is already moving to the top of the council's agenda. According to McDow, each council member would have the opportunity to appoint one person to serve on the review board. She says the mayor would appoint three people and then the police department can appoint two. However, Sykes says the complaint board must be completely outside the control of the police department.
To view interviews about the possible review board, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and click on iO Extra.Related InformationJustice Department investigates Yonkers police