Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that stop-and-frisk tactics have violated the constitutional rights of minorities and ordered that a federal monitor be put in place to oversee reforms
The results of a 2005 class action suit against the City of New York has resulted in Mr. Peter L. Zimroth a partner with Arnold & Porter LLP being named by Judge Scheindlin to oversee police reforms of the Stop N Frisk policy. Zimroth is a former Assistant Manhattan DA, NYC Corporate Council lawyer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, and has worked on cases such as the Frank Serpico whistle blowing police corruption of the 1970's. The 198-page ruling has empowered Zimroth to revise stop-and-frisk policies, review the police departments efforts to reform and share that information with the public. The 198 page ruling by Judge Scheindlin can be found here.
Reaction to the verdict has been swift and coming from all corners including Mayor Bloomberg's pledge to appeal the decision which would continue after Bloomberg has left office. Several Democrats running for mayor have said that they would drop the appeal, while the two major Republican candidates have vowed to continue on with the appeal.
Here are some comments that have come in from other elected officials-
Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese - "Today, the courts upheld what any reasonable New Yorker has known since day one: Stop and frisk is a legal police tool that keeps our city safe when it is used properly".
Mayoral candidate John Liu - “Today’s ruling by Judge Scheindlin declaring that police have overstepped their authority highlights the enormous flaws in the NYPD’s ‘stop and frisk’ tactic, which has served to undermine trust between communities and law enforcement. The judge’s call for reforms must be heeded, and – longer term – the tactic should be abolished. It’s time to put an end to stop and frisk once and for all.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, - “Today’s ruling, which subject’s the NYPD’s practice of ‘stop & frisk’ to the scrutiny of a court-appointed monitor, is a welcome step in the right direction towards meaningful reform of this important, yet often abused, police tactic. ‘Stop & frisk’ can be an effective tool in reducing crime, but not in its current form—which more often than not violates the Constitutional rights of those stopped, which is overwhelmingly young men of color.
“The opinion makes it clear that significant improvements need to be made in officer training and supervision. This is an important opportunity for growth and improvement in how policing is done. Many other cities and municipalities look toward the NYPD as the model to emulate. We as a City can no longer defend these policies.
“We want safer streets, and we want to work with the police to make that happen. But that must be done in a way that is respectful of the communities the NYPD serves. Our relationship with the police must be based on trust, and not confrontation. I will work with the next mayor and his police commissioner to ensure that ‘stop, question & frisk’ is used in a more reasonably focused, precise, and Constitutionally appropriate manner,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat - “Today’s federal court ruling validates the basic truth that members of the African-American and Latino community have long known: that stop-and-frisk policing tactics have violated the rights of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and aggressively targeted young people who have done nothing wrong.
This practice has not made our communities safer, and it has instilled bitter resentment in the victims of this policy. It has repeatedly strained relationships between law enforcement and minority communities, and has impeded the cooperation that is critical for ensuring our neighborhoods' safety.
The appointment of a federal monitor to oversee necessary changes is a welcome next step for our city, but it is little comfort to the young people that have already felt the shame of being stopped and frisked in public and made to feel like criminals. Federal oversight will help restore basic freedoms to my constituents in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, and throughout the city. But our city and state government must take ownership of this civil liberties abuse, and enact legislative changes without relying on Washington.”