Civil rights lawyers on Thursday have sued New York City and its police department on behalf of Black Lives Matter protesters who claim they were subject to violent and unnecessary arrests amid a crackdown on largely peaceful demonstrations against police brutality last summer.

The proposed class action, filed Thursday afternoon in Manhattan federal court, came on the heels of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Jan. 14 lawsuit, which accused the New York City Police Department of using excessive force and false arrests to quell the demonstrations. That suit, also filed in the Southern District of New York, sought to appoint an independent monitor to oversee changes to the NYPD’s practices for policing protests.

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