Stop-and-Frisk Class Action Update / FAQ

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Stop-and-Frisk Class Action Update

On May 16, 2012 a federal court judge decided that a lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, challenging the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policies and practices as unconstitutional may move forward as a “class action” lawsuit. This means that the four individuals who filed the case now serve as representatives for a large “class” of anyone illegally stopped and/or frisked since January 2005 by the NYPD without “reasonable suspicion” and/or on the basis of their race. Click here to download a copy of this FAQ as a PDF.

What is Floyd v. City of New York?
Floyd v. City of New York is a lawsuit filed in 2008 by the Center for Constitutional Rights and our co-counsels in federal court.  The lawsuit challenges the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies and practices as violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures and the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections against racially-discriminatory policing.

The lawsuit does not seek money for the class of individuals who have been unlawfully stopped and/or frisked by the NYPD.  Instead, it seeks to obtain a ruling from a federal court that aspects of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies and practices are unconstitutional and should be fundamentally changed.  For more information about the case, please visit CCR’s case page at http://ccrjustice.org/floyd.

How do I become a member of the “class”?
The great news is that you do not need to do anything. Because of the judge’s decision, if you have been unlawfully stopped and/or frisked by the NYPD in or after January 2005, you are already a member of this lawsuit.  The changes this lawsuit hopes to achieve will apply to you and all other plaintiff class members. 

Is there any way for me to become involved in the case or in advocacy efforts to change the NYPD’s practices?
The trial in the case begins on March 18, 2013, and you can come support the legal team by attending.

For anyone interested in advocacy to challenge abusive NYPD practices or to reform stop-and-frisk, we encourage you to visit the websites for Communities United for Police Reform (http://changethenypd.org) or the Stop Stop and Frisk Campaign (http://www.stopmassincarceration.org/) and become active in their community based campaigns and events. 

If I am a member of the class, will Floyd v. City of New York allow me to receive money for being illegally stopped and/or frisked by the NYPD?
No. This is because Floyd v. City of New York was not filed as a case asking for class-wide money damages. Instead, the case is seeking systemic reforms of the NYPD stop and frisk practices, including changes in the way police officers are trained, supervised and disciplined. You can choose to file your own separate individual lawsuit for money, but the Center for Constitutional Rights cannot represent you in such an individual case. 

What will happen next in the lawsuit?
The case will be going to trial starting on March 18, 2013. The trial is open to the public, and we hope as many people as possible can come and witness what will be an historical event for New York City.

How do I keep track of developments in the case?
You can visit CCR’s website at http://ccrjustice.org/floyd, where we will post regular updates on the case.  The best way to find out the latest information about Floyd is to keep checking the website address above.

Can I appeal my criminal case that arose from a stop-and-frisk incident?
Maybe. Unfortunately, CCR cannot represent you in your criminal case. You should speak to your criminal defense attorney or a criminal appeals lawyer.