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City Scientists Call for Independence from NYPD

The Legal Aid Society obtained a letter via FOIL written by scientists working at the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to the City Council which sought assistance removing the NYPD’s control over the laboratory’s scientific operations, reports the New York Daily News.

Specifically, the lab analysts asked for assistance in curtailing the NYPD’s practice of surreptitious DNA collection, calling the practice unethical and questioning whether “this practice aligns with the values of New York City.”

Lab analysts also pointed out that processing the large number of DNA samples collected by police in this manner took away from “examining actual crime scene evidence and actual suspects in these crimes.” They also pushed for City Council to not accept the NYPD’s so-called voluntary steps to reduce the index size, calling the Department’s standards a “low bar,” that fails to correct the problems with the City DNA databank.