U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin has appointed a federal monitor to ensure that changes are made within the New York Police Department to prevent stop-and-frisk from being overwhelmingly used to search minorities.
According to the Associated Press, Scheindlin wrote in her opinion that higher-ups in the NYPD "deliberately maintained and even escalated policies and practices that predictably resulted in even more widespread Fourth Amendment violations." She said there is evidence that the practice has been ongoing since at least 1999.
Numbers indicated that the vast majority of those stopped — nearly 90 percent — were young black or Hispanic men.
Stop-and-frisk policies have been among the most contentious issues for the police department over the last several years. Most recently, the city council passed a measure making it illegal for police officers to make a stop based solely on the race of an individual.
Many of the city's mayoral candidates weighed in on the decision.
"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," Comproller John Liu said. "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."
Council Speaker Christine Quinn wrote on Twitter: "Today’s court ruling affirms what we've known - that we must put an end to young men of color being stopped in an unconstitutional manner."