POUGHKEEPSIE – In the wake lawyer William Wagstaff filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Poughkeepsie and its police department for the way two teenage sisters were allegedly handled earlier this year, the president of the Northern Dutchess NAACP Thursday called on the state attorney general to investigate “the police practices and the alleged racial bias here in the City of Poughkeepsie.”
The sisters maintain they were physically and verbally abused and threatened by officers. An investigation by the city cleared the officers involved of any wrongdoing.
Northern Dutchess NAACP President Eloise Maxey said on Thursday that following the March 11 incident involving the two girls, she asked the mayor and police chief to implement special training on therapeutic crisis intervention, training in proper ways to interact with and apprehend children, the elderly, and the mentally handicapped.
She also asked the city to hire a youth officer trained to deal with young people. “It is my opinion that if a youth officer had been on duty on March 11th, the outcome would have been very different,” said Maxey.
The civil rights leader also asked that mandatory diversity and sensitivity training be conducted on an ongoing basis.
“To date, I have not heard about any progress in these matters,” she said.