Stop and Frisk Ruled Unconstitutional

Good news — a U.S. district court has ruled that New York’s Stop and Frisk program, which overwhelmingly targeted minorities, violates civil rights, is racially discriminatory, and violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department deliberately violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with its contentious stop-and-frisk policy, and an independent monitor is needed to oversee major changes, a federal judge ruled Monday in a stinging rebuke for what the mayor and police commissioner have defended as a life-saving, crime-fighting tool. [...]

“The city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner,” she wrote. “In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting ‘the right people’ is racially discriminatory.”

For years, police brass had been warned that officers were violating rights, but they nevertheless maintained and escalated “policies and practices that predictably resulted in even more widespread Fourth Amendment violations,” Scheindlin wrote in a lengthy opinion.

She also cited violations of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

“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.”

When Mayor Bloomberg was confronted over stop and frisk several months ago, he brazenly asserted that it could be argued that they stop white people too often and don’t stop minorities enough.

An “independent monitor” will oversee reform of the program, which means we haven’t heard the last of this or Bloomberg’s claims that “math” proves him right.

Eugenicists also believe math proves them right. Just sayin’.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    I just love how the judge specifically addressed Mayor Bloomberg’s asinine argument that it was too effective not to use. He’s basically saying, if a law enforcement technique works, the city should use it. Forget about liberties! Who needs rights….Amiright?

    • mrbrink

      Yeah. Bloomberg has more money than you so he gets to decide when and where he gets stopped and frisked.

      There is no one thing they can point to that would justify that law and it all sounds like pencil-necked gestapo-light babble to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

    Would love to see Federal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin nominated for the Supreme Court.

  • trgahan

    Only one comment?!? This is something that will turn into a pretty significant legal fight over law enforcement verses individual liberty.

    Where are all the so called “civil libertarians” long winded, logical fallacy filled comments hectoring anyone who supports “stop and frisk’? Or do they only get involved if the breech in civil liberties involves a six-figure earning, educated, 20-something, white male was stopped and frisked?

    • http://www.facebook.com/felonious.grammar Felonious Grammar

      Uh huh. Civil libertarians aren’t being stopped and frisked.

    • muselet

      Glenn Greenwald didn’t tell them to be upset and blame it on Obama.



      • D_C_Wilson

        Wait for it.

    • JMAshby

      Something something Drones.

    • PinkamenaPanic

      That last sentence sums it up pretty damn well: It’s only an issue if it affects rich white male 20-somethings. I’ve seen Greenrubes outright admit to this.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Today NYC stop and frisk, tomorrow Texas voting laws?