City appeals stop-and-frisk ruling

The city will formally appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy, as currently laid out and enforced, is unconstitutional.

Judge Shira Scheindlin handed down the 195-page decision on August 12, in response to the case, Floyd vs. City of New York, stating that stop-and-frisk violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures by government, and the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

In response, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the program as crucial to crime prevention, crediting it with the city’s record low crime rates.

They also vigorously denied Scheindlin’s assertion that the NYPD has “Adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data” and “the city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner.”

The exact details in the city’s appeal against Floyd vs. City of New York are not yet available–they will be released tomorrow (Friday, August 16) morning–but if Kelly and Bloomberg’s statements earlier this week are any indication, it will include a rejection of Scheindlin’s decree that a federal monitor should oversee reforms in the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy.

At least two city officials–and mayoral candidates–are criticizing the appeal.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio stated that “the overuse and abuse of stop-and-frisk is driving police and communities apart instead of making our city safer. Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to appeal the federal court’s ruling is wrong and deeply misguided.”

Comptroller John Liu echoed the sentiment, adding that the appeal “is a waste of time and taxpayer money” that could be spent on “working to dismantle this unconstitutional policy instead of trying to defend it.”

We will update this story as more information becomes available.


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