City Loses Appeal Challenging Stop-and-Frisk Policy

The class action lawsuit against the controversial policy will move forward

A federal appellate court Wednesday denied the City's request to appeal a lawsuit challenging the racial discrimination of the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisks policy.

Floyd v. City of New York, is a federal class action lawsuit, led by the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed against the New York City Police Department and the City of New York challenging NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy. The Center calls the practice unconstitutional and racial profiling against black and Latino males.

On October 26, 2010, CCR released an expert report (PDF) for Floyd. The report showed that although they account for only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, black and Latino males between the ages of 14-24 accounted for 41.6 percent of the stops in 2011. The number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has defended the policy, blasting community leaders for what he believes is a lack of response to the recent spate of gun violence.

“Many of them will speak out about stop-and-frisk” but are “shockingly silent when it comes to the level of violence right in their own communities,” said Kelly at a press conference in July.

On May 16, 2012, a Judge issued an order granting the Plaintiffs' Class Certification Motion. The City appealed the order and today, the Court of Appeals denied the City's motion.

“The NYPD’s own numbers show that communities of color and Black & Latino youth have been the victims of this stop & frisk policy. No citizen deserves this treatment and we can’t stand for it,” said City Councilmember Al Vann.

Other New York City politicians, including City Council speaker Christine Quinn, have called for more dramatic reforms of the policy.

“The City’s last-ditch effort at delaying the trial – the appeal of our class certification – was resolved today," CCR Senior Attorney Darius Charney told Patch, "There's nothing standing in the way of our proceeding to trial now.”

The trial for the law suit is scheduled for March 18, 2013.

Joyce Brown October 10, 2012 at 11:37 PM
This is a very important issue. I am a organizing a youth march on violence. This is a march that only involves the youth. All youth that would like to participate in this march will be welcomed. We must stop the NYPD in their wrong doings, and we must stop our children in theirs.
pat October 11, 2012 at 12:38 AM
When will we hear if stop and frisk works. Is there conclusive data that shows it has curbed crime? If there is, then keep doing it, I'd rather hurt some peoples feelings if it means keeping others alive. My people ruined East "Spanish"Harlem for many years. Why would it not make sense to profile a certain group. We all want to cry when a person is shot, but don't want to sacrifice. Are we really that weak in mind, body and soul that a stop of frisk incident will ruin us if we are innocent. I have been stopped twice, I produced identification, answered some questions and was on my way. I did not resist, or act like a self entitled fool, or victim. I understand the purpose behind it. I think what needs to change is the filthy, dirty, rotten behavior of our Latino and Black youth in NYC. When will we stop living this lie that these two minority groups are victims. I am in one of these minority groups and have witnessed first hand, the devastation my people have caused in NYC. The only victims here are the good people that have died in NYC because of thugs. Of course Whites do commit serious crimes, but for crying out loud, you would have to be border line retarded to imply that violent crime in NYC is mostly caused by Whites, or Asians. Give me a break. Not one of my Black friends has ever been stopped. Stop acting like a fool and you might not be stopped either. I've been stopped because I am a White Hispanic in a Black neighborhood. Al Vann is a Joke.
Abel Santiago October 11, 2012 at 07:49 AM
There is more that the City of New York can do to prevent violence on our streets, implementing a policy that targets a particular group, is deemed unethical in my opinion. However, it goes beyond ethic values when the target are youth or minors, whom have yet to develop their own voice in society. I don't think the multitude of guns and drugs that are hitting our streets and creating our city's violence, are coming from someone's adolescent child. If Police Commissioner Ray Kelly believes that if implementing the Stock and Frisk Policy will prevent the influx of crimes in New York City, then he should be removed as the Police Commissioner and taken back to the Police Academy, where he can learn the foundations and infrastructures of Criminology and not base his actions on Incrimination. Abel Santiago -age 37 Brooklyn NY
Mister Grey October 11, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Stop + Frisk = Save Lives, seems to be a simple formula to me...with an immediate impact...it's too late for communities to make any impact on gun violence, that ship has sailed...we are at war with gun violence, and if we need to lose a few uncomfortable minutes to be safe, then it's a no brainer compromise...Commissioner Ray Kelly should be admonished for not thinking of this sooner...I wonder what has happened in a world where political correctness costs innocent lives, has our freedom infected us with irrational idealistic exuberance?...I'm sure the Taliban would support a stop and frisk ban, because they also need to kill innocents to "make a point" disrespectin their ideals...it is obvious that subversives opposed to civilization hide behind the idealistic basic rights that have made this country great, it's about time we stop enabling them... if you really wanted to stop gun violence you would support stop and frisk...a million plus men marched and a black president can't curb the PANDEMIC of black on black violence, we need to really try anything that will have some kind of efficacy at this point and take the sand out of our ears...I guess we all need a little bit of luck in a neighborhood where turning one of these beautiful corners one day being in the right place at the wrong time can cost you your life.
dorkofwindsor October 11, 2012 at 06:40 PM
the NYPD's argument is that they target neighborhoods based on violence. If there is no violence in a given hood, they do few S&F. OK, safe neighborhoods theoretically have people with all the money and hope, and opportunities for advancement. Now that we have a black president, is there any progress with young people to break this cycle of violence, despair, and lack of hope? I realize this will take a generation, but more imminently do people in the affected neighborhoods even want a proactive attempt to stop violent crime? Some of us are not sure.
Brandt Hardin October 11, 2012 at 07:39 PM
“Stop and Frisk” is racial profiling plain and simple. This is illegal behavior on the part of law enforcement and is a breach of civil rights for anyone stopped, regardless of race. The actions and abuse by the NYPD are filling the definition of a “Police State.” You can read much more about cops running amuck and how they’ve violated civil liberties across the country at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-privatized-police-state.html
Forrest Lorenston October 11, 2012 at 08:52 PM
The data they have released suggests no change, but that doesn't stop them from lauding their own program. If you stop more people, based on race, than there exist people of that race, AND only yield results LESS THAN 2% of the time, you're doing it wrong. Meanwhile, we're normalizing stops and searches without probable cause, and alienating an entire generation of minority youths. The idea that "sacrificing" everyone's fourth amendment rights, in their own neighborhoods, for any reason, is laughable. Especially for a program that does much more harm than good.
dorkofwindsor October 11, 2012 at 09:40 PM
LOL. @ Brandt Hardin, rant about "police state" for big business, spams his blog where he sells paintings about police state. Who says there is no irony in Art!
Ken October 11, 2012 at 10:15 PM
...and what is the alternative to "stop and frisk"? If the parents did a better job of parenting...making sure their children showed respect to everyone, went to school, did their homework, didn't hang around in the streets all hours of the night, did an honest days work...maybe programs like "stop and frisk" wouldn't be necessary. And "stop and frisk" isn't "racial profiling" (Can you please stop using tired, old expressions). If there is a crime committed and witnesses claim that the person who did it was a male, under 30, of color, etc., who should the police stop...all whites, regardless of age or gender or stature, all Hispanics, too? Maybe some Orientals, too. While we're on "witnesses", instead of the term "snitching" when you see something be grownup and come forward with the information and stop complaining about crime going up in your neighborhood. And lastly, stop with the nonsense that when a "perp" is stopped, we all know that "he was just getting his life together and was going to be a professional rapper".
Matthew Swaye October 12, 2012 at 02:53 AM
30th Precinct Pigotry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIGu2u6pz0U officers criminalizing school children in the 145th street subway station
Dudley Escobar October 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Others have said it, but I'll say it again. S&F is not racial profiling. It happens in high-crime areas. That those areas happen to be where blacks and latinos are living does not necessarily mean that cops are targeting blacks and latinos. The article we're commenting on claims that "although they account for only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, black and Latino males between the ages of 14-24 accounted for 41.6 percent of the stops in 2011" and I believe it. However, considering that 66% of all violent crime in the city is committed by that same demographic, it sounds perfectly reasonable to me that that is who would be stopped most often. If you want to voice your opposition to S&F, as I do, then point out the fact that it's a massive violation of our Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure. The NYPD I know and am friends with claim that there's probable cause for every one of these searches, but obviously this isn't true. Someone walking down the street looking suspicious is not probable cause. I am concerned about crime and support our police in their efforts to keep us safe. But as Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."


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