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Judge Nixes City’s Bid To Put Stop & Frisk Changes On Hold

Judge: 'Ordering A Stay Now Would Send Precisely The Wrong Signal'
Anti-stop and frisk button (file/credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)/Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file/credit: Edward Reed/Mayor's Office)

Anti-stop and frisk button (file/credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)/Mayor Michael Bloomberg (file/credit: Edward Reed/Mayor’s Office)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A judge has denied the Bloomberg administration’s request to stay changes ordered to the city’s controversial stop, question and frisk policy.

“Ordering a stay now would send precisely the wrong signal,” Judge Shira Scheindlin wrote in her ruling. “It would essentially confirm that the past practices, resulting in hundreds of thousands of stops — overwhelmingly of minorities — that resulted in little or no enforcement action or seizure of contraband were justified and based on constitutional police practices. It would also send the message that reducing the number of stops is somehow dangerous to the residents of this City. Because neither proposition is accurate, the granting of a stay is not in the public interest. By contrast, allowing a process of consultation with all stakeholders, and recommendations for measured reform, is in the public interest.”

Scheindlin also noted her objection to statements by those she referred to as “certain high-level officials and pundits” who say she ordered an end to stop-and-frisk, which she did not.

WEB EXTRARead The Ruling (.pdf)

In August, the Bloomberg administration sought a stay of Judge Scheindlin’s original ruling that found the practice unconstitutional.

“We believe that the District Court orders are erroneous as matters of law, and because implementation of the broad-sweeping panoply of remedies based on such errors are likely to cause irreparable harm to defendants and the public safety,” the city’s lawyers wrote in their stay request to Scheindlin.

Judge Scheindlin had ruled that the stop-and-frisk policy amounts to “indirect racial profiling,” in which “minorities are indeed treated differently than whites,” and, “officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights praised Scheindlin’s decision denying the stay request.

“The court has correctly recognized that thousands of New Yorkers whose rights are violated regularly by the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices – and not the City itself – are the ones who would be harmed by this latest attempt to delay reforms,” the group said in a statement. “After more than a decade of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory police practices, overwhelming legislative support for changes, and a massive mobilization by affected communities, it is long past time for the City to end its resistance and participate in making those changes. If Mayor Bloomberg truly seeks a police force that serves New Yorkers, here is his opportunity—come to the table and help make it a reality.”

The NYCLU applauded the ruling, saying, “This ruling sends the Bloomberg administration a clear message: No more stalling. It is time end the NYPD’s abusive and discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices.”

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