Brooklyn subway shooting suspect improperly questioned: defense attorneys

The defense accused the government of violating James' constitutional rights.
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Frank James
Frank James, 62, suspected of opening fire in New York City subway station, is taken into custody, April 12, 2022.
Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Federal agents have improperly interrogated the suspected Brooklyn subway shooter by telling him to sign documents and take DNA samples, defense attorneys claimed Thursday in a court filing.

The defendant, 62-year-old Frank James, faces a federal terrorism charge after he allegedly opened fire earlier this month during rush hour on a New York City subway train wounding 10 people, with roughly a dozen other people injured. 

James' attorneys state FBI agents entered their client's jail cell without notifying them and questioned him, "took multiple buccal swabs of his DNA, and directed him to sign certain documents," according to the filing obtained by local TV station WABC.

"Contrary to standard practice, the government committed this intrusion absent advance notice to counsel, depriving us of an opportunity to be heard or to be present," argued New York federal defenders Mia Eisner-Grynberg and Deirdre von Dornum. "Neither did the government provide subsequent notice to counsel. The agents did not provide Mr. James with a copy of the warrant or a receipt, in violation of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure."

The defense also accused the government of violating James' constitutional rights.