New York City’s highest-ranking uniformed police officer, Terence Monahan, who memorably took a knee with George Floyd protesters in Washington Square Park, is retiring, a source familiar with the decision told ABC News.
An announcement is expected as soon as Thursday afternoon from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.
Monahan’s retirement as NYPD chief of department is expected to prompt another shakeup of top officials, including the elevation of Rodney Harrison from chief of detectives to chief of department.
Monahan joined the NYPD in 1982 and was named chief of department in January 2018.
He spearheaded the department’s neighborhood coordination officer program, but recently came under fire in a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James over his treatment of protesters last summer.
Monahan was named in a lawsuit last month from James that accused him, and others, of failing to address “a pattern of excessive, brutal and unlawful force against peaceful protesters.”
Monahan was among the defendants who “knowingly deployed thousands of insufficiently trained NYPD Officers to police the Protests,” according to the lawsuit. Monahan has not commented on the lawsuit.
At one point during the protests, Monahan took a knee to indicate the NYPD’s solidarity with demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The announcement of his retirement came as a surprise since it was thought Monahan planned to remain in his post through the end of de Blasio’s term.
Earlier this month the mayor announced “cutting-edge reform” to police discipline guidelines and pledged a break from past practices.