NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Bloomberg administration continued its fight to protect the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy Tuesday, requesting a stay of a judge’s ruling that the practice is unconstitutional.
On Aug. 12, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin appointed a federal monitor to oversee changes to the controversial policy. The city promptly began taking steps to appeal the decision.
“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 request to Scheindlin.
In a statement, Michael A. Cardozo of the city’s Law Department said the administration is “highly concerned by ramifications of this decision.”
“We believe that the Police Department and its officers have acted — and continue to act — lawfully and constitutionally,” Cardozo said. “Accordingly today, we have moved before Judge Scheindlin asking her to stay her decision while the appeal goes forward. The City’s safety remains Mayor Bloomberg’s and Police Commissioner Kelly’s paramount concern. Our Police Department must be free to do its job correctly and proactively.”
The stay request seeks to halt the implementation of Scheindlin’s reforms, most notably the appointment of the police monitor, while the city appeals.
Judge Scheindlin 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.”
“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.”
Bloomberg and other officials have credited the policy in part for a pronounced drop in the homicide rate. The city averages one homicide a day currently, compared to six in 1990.
Bloomberg and Kelly have repeatedly blasted those who say the police force engages in racial profiling while carrying out the stop-and-frisk policy.
The class action civil suit against stop-and-frisk was brought by defendants who claimed their civil rights were violated by the tactic.
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