A rogue police agency has become an “imperative” of a police officer’s career, a federal court has found.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday that the New York City Police Department’s practice of “capture and detain” a suspect when the officer has no intention of arresting him is illegal and has damaged officers’ ability to protect the public, the Associated Press reported.
The ruling is the latest blow to a department that has been plagued by scandals and corruption scandals, including the death of a handcuffed suspect who was pinned to the ground and died of a heart attack after being pinned to a wall for hours in April.
The court ruling, which comes amid mounting calls for a federal investigation into the New Yorker case, is the third time the department has been found to have violated the Constitution.
The officers were charged with murder and obstruction of justice.
The department has not yet responded to requests for comment.
The Associated Press previously reported that the department “has long been accused of using excessive force against suspects who are handcuffed and are handcuffed in public, including in police vehicles.”
The court found that the police department’s policy is “unlawful” and that the practice is “dangerous.”
A judge issued a temporary restraining order in March barring the department from continuing the practice.
The city has since appealed that ruling, but the case is pending.
The lawsuit alleged that the officers have “tortured, intimidated and detained suspects” who were not arrested when they “were detained in their vehicles, without lawful orders to do so.”
The AP reported that one officer “placed a handcuffed man in the back of a patrol car, and then repeatedly hit him with a baton, kicking him and throwing him to the floor, according to court documents.”
The lawsuit, filed in September by attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, claimed that the policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Americans With Disabilities Restraining Order Act, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability.
The officer’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
The AP previously reported the case as part of a broader push by the NAACP and other civil rights groups to pressure the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into police practices in the aftermath of the fatal chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York in April 2014.
Garner, an unarmed black man, was pulled from a Staten Island subway car by a police uniformed officer who then choked him and later died.
Garner’s death was the subject of months of protests in the city and nationwide.
The NYPD has since admitted that it used excessive force in the chokehold, but said the officer had acted in self-defense.
The incident sparked protests across the nation, including protests in Washington D.C. The New York Police Department has since taken steps to improve training and equipment for officers.
In December, the department announced a policy that would require officers to wear body cameras during their work.
The Justice Department has yet to investigate any specific cases involving the practice of police use of force.
In February, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a sweeping review of the NYPD’s policies and practices and promised to conduct a full investigation into how the department treats its minority communities.
The new guidelines will focus on “whether there is a systemic failure by the department to address the systemic discrimination and racial bias” that exists, the AP reported.