Monday, August 12, 2013

 

NY ‘stop & frisk’ policy violates minorities’ rights, US Constitution - judge

A US Federal Judge found that stop-and-search tactics used by the New York Police Department have violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of citizens and are racist, and called for a federal monitor to oversee reforms to the policy.



Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that police officers have been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective evidence that they had been committing an offence.

Cops usually searched young black and Latino men for weapons or drugs before letting them go.

The ruling follows a more-than-two-month non-jury trial. The 195 page decision found that in 88 percent of ‘stop and frisks’ the police ended up letting the person go without an arrest or a ticket.

The judge said this percentage was so high it suggested there was no credible reason to suspect someone of criminality in the first place.

She found that the stop-and-frisk-episodes had demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, and also violated the 14th Amendment, which addresses citizens’ equal rights and protection under the law, regardless of their race or ethnicity.




Scheindlin also ruled that she would designate an outside lawyer, Peter L. Zimroth, a former corporate counsel and prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, to monitor the NYPD’s compliance with the Constitution.  This will leave the New York police under a degree of judicial control that will doubtless shape policing policies under the next mayor.

“Far too many people in New York city have been deprived of this basic freedom far too often. The NYPD’s practice of making stops that lack individualized reasonable suspicion has been so pervasive and persistent as to become not only part of the NYPD standard operating procedure, but a fact of daily life in some New York City neighborhoods,” she said.

She added that the plaintiffs who had instigated the case “readily established that the NYPD implements its policies regarding stop and frisk in a manner that intentionally discriminates based on race.”

The stop-and-frisk incidents are part of incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tough crime-fighting legacy, and although the number of people searched has soared over the last decade, crime has continued to fall since the 1990s.


Scheindlin heard evidence from a dozen black, Latino or biracial people who had been stopped by police as well as from statistical experts who had examined police paper work detailing some 4.43 million stops between 2004 and the middle of 2012. A number of police officers and commanders also gave evidence; typically they defended their own actions saying they only made the stops when they thought criminal activity was occurring.

The judge found that the New York police had overstepped their authority to briefly stop and investigate people who are behaving suspiciously and that in effect they were watering down the legal minimum standard required to stop someone.

Legal experts said that this was the largest and broadest-sweeping case against the US’s largest police force, and that this ruling may have an effect on how other police departments conduct street stops.

The NYPD and the mayor’s office are yet to comment on the decision.

Tags : , ,

Share

Social

The idea behind the text.
Respect for the truth is almost the basis of all morality.
Nothing can come from nothing.



Follow

Popular Topics

Read

Well, the way they make shows is, they make one show. That show's called a pilot. Then they show that show to the people who make shows, and on the strength of that one show they decide if they're going to make more shows.

Like you, I used to think the world was this great place where everybody lived by the same standards I did, then some kid with a nail showed me I was living in his world, a world where chaos rules not order, a world where righteousness is not rewarded. That's Cesar's world, and if you're not willing to play by his rules, then you're gonna have to pay the price.

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.

You see? It's curious. Ted did figure it out - time travel. And when we get back, we gonna tell everyone. How it's possible, how it's done, what the dangers are. But then why fifty years in the future when the spacecraft encounters a black hole does the computer call it an 'unknown entry event'? Why don't they know? If they don't know, that means we never told anyone. And if we never told anyone it means we never made it back. Hence we die down here. Just as a matter of deductive logic.