November 14, 2013, New York – In response to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ denial of District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s request to be heard on the Court of Appeals’ reassignment of Floyd v. City of New York to another district court judge, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
The Panel’s decision yesterday, attempting to explain its unprecedented reassignment of the stop and frisk case, fails to give any reason for removing Judge Scheindlin before briefing on the merits, without any request from any party, and without permitting the parties an opportunity to fully respond. As our filings before the full court show, there was no actual basis for removal and, critically, the Panel’s conclusion that Judge Scheindlin exhibited no actual bias and that the removal has no effect on her rulings confirms that her decision was based on nothing other than the overwhelming evidence she heard. Judge Scheindlin’s 198-page opinion was firmly grounded in the testimony of more than 100 witnesses and nearly 10,000 pages of evidence in a nine-week trial, which conclusively demonstrated what New Yorkers know and what led to a landslide mayoral victory: that the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices are unconstitutional and racially biased, destructive to our communities, and long-overdue for reforms.
Indeed, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s report today further supports Judge Scheindlin’s decisions. It finds that just three percent of the 150,000 arrests from 2.4 million stops between 2009 and 2012 resulted in convictions, and only a tenth of one percent led to convictions for violent crimes. The report confirms that stop and frisk nets very few convictions of any kind, and adds to the body of evidence showing that Mayor Bloomberg is simply wrong in asserting that stop and frisk, as currently practiced, is an effective crime-fighting policy.
Judge Scheindlin should be returned to the case and her orders upheld. Mayor DeBlasio must not only drop the appeal, he must fully support the court-appointed monitor and the joint remedial process.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.