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August 12, 2013

"NYC stop-and-frisk policy violates constitutional rights, federal judge rules"

The title of this post is the headline of this CBS News report on a notable ruling this morning coming from the Southern District of New York. Though not technically a sentencing story, I suspect readers of this blog will be interested in this latest sign of the changing criminal justice times:

A federal judge ruled that the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which has been criticized as racial profiling, violates individuals' constitutional rights because it intentionally discriminates based on race -- a significant judicial rebuke for what the mayor and police commissioner have defended as a life-saving, crime-fighting tool.

Instead of ordering an end to the practice, however, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to the policy. Peter L. Zimroth, a onetime city lawyer and a former chief assistant district attorney, has been appointed as the monitor. In both roles, Zimroth worked closely with the NYPD, Scheindlin said.

The judge accused the police department's senior officials of violating law "through their deliberate indifference to unconstitutional stops, frisks and searches."

"They have received both actual and constructive notice since at least 1999 of widespread Fourth Amendment violations occurring as a result of the NYPD's stop and frisk practices. Despite this notice, they deliberately maintained and even escalated policies and practices that predictably resulted in even more widespread Fourth Amendment violations," she wrote in a lengthy opinion.

She also cited violations of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. "Far too many people in New York City have been deprived of this basic freedom far too often," she said. "The NYPD's practice of making stops that lack individualized reasonable suspicion has been so pervasive and persistent as to become not only a part of the NYPD's standard operating procedure, but a fact of daily life in some New York City neighborhoods."

Four men had sued, saying they were unfairly targeted because of their race. There have been about 5 million stops during the past decade, mostly black and Hispanic men. Scheindlin issued her ruling after a 10-week bench trial for the class-action lawsuit, which included testimony from top NYPD brass and a dozen people — 11 men and one woman — who said they were wrongly stopped because of their race.

Scheindlin concluded that the plaintiffs had "readily established that the NYPD implements its policies regarding stop and frisk in a manner that intentionally discriminates based on race."

The full opinion(s) in this litigation coming from Judge Scheindlin comes in two parts are available here and here. (And be sure to have lots of paper on hand if you plan to hit the print button: these two docs run nearly 250 pages!)

August 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

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Comments

lordie lordie lordie!

Wonder what the feebs have on her to get this decison!

She was doing so well till the end then she choked!

Let's see.

first the policy is unconstitutional....i.e. ILLEGAL!

decison. So what. You can keep doing it!

punishment

a monitor!

and WHAT a monitor!

"Instead of ordering an end to the practice, however, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to the policy. Peter L. Zimroth, a onetime city lawyer and a former chief assistant district attorney, has been appointed as the monitor. In both roles, Zimroth worked closely with the NYPD, Scheindlin said."

can anyone say IMPARTIAL! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so now the judge is also a criminal!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 12, 2013 12:16:55 PM

250 pages? Who reads these things?

Posted by: Joe | Aug 12, 2013 1:33:28 PM

Wow, she says it's unconstitutional but let's just keep doing it. Stupid!

Posted by: Jim D | Aug 12, 2013 1:56:13 PM

Welcome to the republic of Newyorkistan!

Posted by: albeed | Aug 12, 2013 2:56:29 PM

hee haw, must be another example of the horse following the cart

Posted by: yonder | Aug 12, 2013 3:56:10 PM

Peter was my law teacher many years back and was very fair and down the middle in his class presentations. Everyone needs to chill and stop with the ignorant accusations against him and the judge (actually a pretty courageous decision even if I don't completely agree with it) and see what he accomplishes. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of the system, and I bet winds up making the system and the rules much better for all.

Posted by: Stan Adelman | Aug 12, 2013 5:33:39 PM

I agree with Stan Adelman. Kudos to the Judge who has the courage of a lion to take on the NYPD. The Mayor and Police Commissioner are having apoplectic fits.

Posted by: onlooker | Aug 12, 2013 8:04:27 PM

sorry stan and onlooker but based on this!

"Peter L. Zimroth, a onetime city lawyer and a former chief assistant district attorney, has been appointed as the monitor. In both roles, Zimroth worked closely with the NYPD, Scheindlin said."


Unless his time with them was what 30-40 years ago. The so-called gentleman in question was right there in the middle of it all.

so like i said the judge choked at the end. Big question is did she chicken out or did she have help via the govt via some private talks about some sort of dirt they found during one of thier illegal datamining of america!

sorry any fuckup off the street would be a better monitor than this man.

This is in fact a major part of the fuckup that calles itself law enforcment in this country. the only ones who monitor them are in fact PART of them!

That as any lawywer would say is a Conflict of interest!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 12, 2013 9:28:08 PM

1. | "There have been about 5 million stops during the past decade, mostly black and Hispanic men." |
2. | "Scheindlin concluded that the plaintiffs had "readily established that the NYPD..intentionally discriminates
based on race.""|
3. | "The city and its highest officials believe that blacks and Hispanics should be stopped at the same rate as
their proportion of the local criminal suspect population," she wrote. "But this reasoning is flawed…"|
* * *
1(a.) NYC has "the largest African American community of any city in the country… [the two] largest ethnic groups
as of the 2005 census estimates are: [1.] African American, [2.] African or Caribbean".
Percentage of Black/Latino/Multi races in NYC: 58.1%, "White alone" 33.3% [2010];
proportion of local criminal Black/Latino/Multi population in high-crime areas: indubitably higher.
--quickfacts.census.gov, wikipedia

1(b.) "Based on reports filed by victims, blacks committed 66% of all violent crime in New York in 2009,
including 80% of shootings and 71% of robberies. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98%
of reported gun assaults."—
NYtimes.com (op-ed), 6/26/10

2. In Afghanistan, I targeted male villagers with clean hands, because Taliban killers weren't likely to have time to 'dirt farm'. [Aiming works better than blind shooting.]

3. "Stop and frisk is a constitutional police tactic," --cbsnews.com, 'stop & frisk' is effective, and NYC officials have assisted others nationwide in implementing it, e.g. See this blog: The great NYC homicide decline continues, 6/29/13:

"Victor, a 21-year-old ... has been stopped a couple of times. “I guess they doing they jobs,” he acknowledges.
“*That’s why it’s safer*: they doing they jobs.” Mrs. Sweeper’s adult son Michael has been patted down once or
twice, but like Victor, he doesn’t get worked up about it. “The police are pretty respectful,” he says."
--H. McDonald, 2013, City Journal 23:1

Posted by: Adamakis | Aug 13, 2013 1:37:24 PM

"Victor, a 21-year-old ... has been stopped a couple of times. “I guess they doing they jobs,” he acknowledges.
“*That’s why it’s safer*: they doing they jobs.” Mrs. Sweeper’s adult son Michael has been patted down once or
twice, but like Victor, he doesn’t get worked up about it. “The police are pretty respectful,” he says."
--H. McDonald, 2013, City Journal 23:1

Those who would trade liberty for security will lose both and deserve neither.

Posted by: 4th and 8th (The Amendments, not the Streets) | Aug 14, 2013 11:48:16 AM

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