Judge Appoints Independent Monitor
Scheindlin did not order an end to the practice. Instead, she has appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to the policy.
“The purpose of the remedies addressed in this opinion is to ensure that the practice is carried out in a manner that protects the rights and liberties of all New Yorkers, while still providing much-needed police protection,” Scheindlin wrote.
Scheindlin said in the ruling that 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, the judge said.
She did not give many specifics, but said the independent monitor would develop reforms to policies, training, supervision, monitoring and discipline.
She also ordered that officers test out body-worn cameras in the police precinct where most stops occurred.
“The police officer must reasonably suspect that the person stopped is armed and dangerous,” she said. “The frisk must be strictly limited to whatever is necessary to uncover weapons that could harm the officer or others nearby.”
To which Bloomberg responded, “It would be a nightmare. Cameras don’t exactly work that way, a camera on the lapel or the hat. The police officer turns the right way or didn’t turn the right way, my God, he deliberately did it. My God. It’s a solution that is not a solution to the problem.”
City lawyers argued the department does a good job policing itself with an internal affairs bureau, a civilian complaint board and quality assurance divisions.
Scheindlin rejected their arguments.
“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 because the stopped population is overwhelmingly innocent — not criminal.”