NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The federal monitor overseeing changes to the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy said Thursday the reform effort is moving in a positive direction, but some officers now avoid making or documenting stops, possibly because they fear legal and departmental reproach.
“This effort has begun at a difficult and contentious period in police community relations,” the monitor, Peter Zimroth, wrote in his first progress report. “This is also a moment of opportunity. Police Commissioner William J. Bratton has acknowledged that the NYPD’s overuse and misuse of stop, question and frisk helped to fuel mistrust between the NYPD and minority and immigrant communities, and recognized the need to repair the breach.”
A federal judge ordered changes in 2013 after a class-action civil rights trial in which black and Hispanic men said they had been unfairly targeted by police because of their race. The judge found the department had unintentionally discriminated against minorities and ordered reforms, but she did not end the policy. The ruling and changes had been on hold pending appeals that were dropped by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. The monitor began work in earnest in November. Since then, initial efforts have focused on changes to the department’s patrol guide and paperwork used in stops, and better training for new recruits on what constitutes a legal stop, Zimorth said.