NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police unions have asked a federal appeals court to let them continue stop-and-frisk litigation if New York City drops the case now that Bill de Blasio has been elected mayor.
The unions representing more than 29,000 of the NYPD’s 35,000 members filed papers Thursday with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The unions want to continue challenges to two court rulings that found officers sometimes violated the Constitution when carrying out the stop-and-frisk policy.
“What we want to do is to make sure that the reforms that were recommended by the last court do not go into place,” PBA president Patrick Lynch said. “This court appeal must go forward. We want to make sure the police officers’ opinions are heard in the court.”
The unions said the rulings would unfairly taint the integrity of the police force and re-write rules governing officer conduct.
“This affects how we do our job, it protects our contract and labor rights and it affects the responsibilities that we have on a regular basis on the street,” Lynch said.
De Blasio has said he would drop objections to the decision, which had called for a monitor to oversee major changes to the police tactic.
“I’ve said repeatedly that what Judge Scheindlin did was correct,” de Blasio said. ”We had a situation that could not continue. The specific remedies she offered were fair and a first step toward the kind of reforms we needed.”
On Wednesday, community leaders and elected officials rallied on the steps of City Hall calling on the Bloomberg administration to drop the appeal now that de Blasio has been elected.
“Mayor-elect de Blasio ran on a platform of changing stop-and-frisk and the people overwhelmingly supported,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler said. “If the appeal is dropped now, the orders to institute certain reforms go into effect right away.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has consistently defended stop-and-frisk, saying the practice has helped reduce crime.
The City Council has already passed two new laws to rein in stop-and-frisk, including the appointment of inspector general.
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