A judge granted class action status this week to a 2008 lawsuit accusing the NYPD of discriminating against minorities with its stop-and-frisk policies, says the Associated Press (published on the Huffington Post).
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin said there was "overwhelming evidence" that the stop-and-frisk program has led to thousands of unlawful stops, says the article, with the judge also adding that the majority of New Yorkers who are unlawfully stopped never file a suit in response.
The AP says that according to the lawsuit, the NYPD based on their racial composition, rather than other factors.
Judge Scheindlin said in the suit that the NYPD’s "cavalier attitude towards the prospect of a widespread practice of suspicionless stops displays towards New Yorkers' most fundamental constitutional rights,” according to the article.
While Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly declined to comment, Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the stop-and-frisk program to the AP, saying that it has saved 5,600 lives, and has taken more than 6,000 guns off the streets in the last eight years.