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New York - Judge Lets NYPD Resume Suspicion-Less Stops

Published on: January 22, 2013 06:39 PM
By: AP
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FILE - The Rev. Al Sharpton, center, walks with demonstrators during a silent march to end the "stop-and-frisk" program in New York, Sunday, June 17, 2012. / AP PHOTO/SETH WENIGFILE - The Rev. Al Sharpton, center, walks with demonstrators during a silent march to end the "stop-and-frisk" program in New York, Sunday, June 17, 2012. / AP PHOTO/SETH WENIG

New York - A federal judge let the New York Police Department on Tuesday temporarily resume stop-and-frisk stops she believes are unconstitutional while she decides what permanent remedies are necessary to prevent illegal stops in thousands of privately owned buildings.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan lifted immediate implementation of the order she issued earlier this month concerning a program aimed at decreasing city crime.

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The judge earlier this month found that the city acted unconstitutionally in making trespass stops without reasonable suspicion at more than 3,000 Bronx buildings participating in the program, a finding that the city is challenging in a federal appeals court. Scheindlin said the need for the appeal will be mooted by her order lifting the ban.

Scheindlin said she believes her original ruling was correct when she found police sometimes stopped people who were merely entering or exiting buildings and not acting suspicious, but the city had shown it would be expensive to immediately implement an order that could be reversed in a complicated area of law.

“There is more than enough proof that a large number of people have been improperly stopped as a result of NYPD practices. These facts warrant an injunction,” she wrote Tuesday.

However, she noted that “any unnecessary administrative costs imposed on the NYPD will be in some sense irreversible,” boosting the possibility of irreparable harm to the department.

A trial in March is set to decide the fate of a lawsuit more broadly challenging the city’s stop-and-frisk practices. That lawsuit, filed in 2008, challenges whether minorities are stopped at an unconstitutionally disproportionate rate, and whether there is a failure to monitor, supervise, and discipline officers who fail to meet the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk reporting guidelines. The judge refused a request by the city to delay that trial.

Scheindlin acknowledged that letting the current practices persist in the Bronx might allow more illegal stops by police.

“On the other hand, allowing a longstanding unconstitutional practice to persist for a few months while the parties present arguments regarding the appropriate scope of a remedy is quite distinct from allowing such a practice to persist until the completion of trial,” she said.

Heidi Grossman, a city attorney on the case, said the city believes Scheindlin acted correctly with her order Tuesday.

Alexis Karteron, a senior staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said nothing about Scheindlin’s order undermines her earlier ruling.

“We’re looking forward to holding the NYPD accountable,” she said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have criticized the program, saying it lets police conduct regular floor-by-floor sweeps and engage in particularly aggressive stop, question, frisk and arrest practices. The city has said that police act lawfully in a program that has successfully reduced crime in high-crime areas.


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1

 Jan 22, 2013 at 07:37 PM ComeOn Says:

This judge needs to be drug tested.
She says that although she believes that stop and frisk is illegal, she will let it continue because it's expensive?!
So if mass murder was cheaper, we would allow some tyrant to continue killing for a few months while we figure out what to do?!
I don't think we even need a drug test for this nut judge, she's clearly stoned.

2

 Jan 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM victorg Says:

Sorry Ahmed, if you have nothing to hide you will be off in a minute.
We live in a dangerous world, you subscribe to a dangerous religion.
Take it up with your lansmen

3

 Jan 22, 2013 at 11:30 PM clear-thinker Says:

Reply to #2  
victorg Says:

Sorry Ahmed, if you have nothing to hide you will be off in a minute.
We live in a dangerous world, you subscribe to a dangerous religion.
Take it up with your lansmen

Would you feel different if you said "sorry Moshe" I believe there is a place for stop and frisk. No need to have you prejudice interfere.

4

 Jan 23, 2013 at 12:05 AM Voice-of-Reason Says:

Reply to #2  
victorg Says:

Sorry Ahmed, if you have nothing to hide you will be off in a minute.
We live in a dangerous world, you subscribe to a dangerous religion.
Take it up with your lansmen

Stop n frisk is the nazi way of doing things. Next it'll be the Jews. If its wrong for one sect, it's wrong for all.

5

 Jan 23, 2013 at 07:32 AM Reb Yid Says:

Reply to #4  
Voice-of-Reason Says:

Stop n frisk is the nazi way of doing things. Next it'll be the Jews. If its wrong for one sect, it's wrong for all.

The nazis used to pat people down for guns to prevent murder? I guess I read different holocaust books than you, because I thought they used to murder people themselves.

I don't think "excuse me, I'm going to pat you down, OK, you're clear, have a nice day" is so horrible.

6

 Jan 23, 2013 at 07:35 AM Reb Yid Says:

Reply to #1  
ComeOn Says:

This judge needs to be drug tested.
She says that although she believes that stop and frisk is illegal, she will let it continue because it's expensive?!
So if mass murder was cheaper, we would allow some tyrant to continue killing for a few months while we figure out what to do?!
I don't think we even need a drug test for this nut judge, she's clearly stoned.

It's not mass murder. It's a possibly unconstitutional practice, not a 911 emergency. Courts don't necessarily halt all unconstitutional govt policy immediately. Do you think school integration, to cite one of a million examples, occurred overnight?

7

 Jan 23, 2013 at 08:32 AM SHMOO2 Says:

If your average drug dealer in a drug-infested building just HAPPENS to be (OVERWHELMINGLY) a 19 yr old Black male, and you frisk all 19 year old Black males entering that building, sorry- that's not racial profiling, that's crime prevention.

8

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