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Ruling Marks First Time Data Will Be Made Public
New York, September 11, 2008 – This week, the United States District Court in Manhattan ordered the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to provide the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) with all stop-and-frisk data from 1998 through the present. The data will no longer be covered by a protective order as it was in an earlier suit, which means that CCR will be able to make it public along with an analysis.
Judge Shira Scheinlin ruled that all the data (known as form UF-250 data) is relevant to CCR’s racial profiling case Floyd v. New York and that the NYPD has failed to prove that law enforcement privilege protects any portion of the data.
“This decision is a major victory in the fight for transparency and accountability from the NYPD,” said CCR attorney Darius Charney. “The police department can’t stop and frisk over 500,000 people in the streets in the past year alone and then hide the data from the people of New York. We applaud the court’s decision in recognizing the public’s right to make sure our police department doesn’t enforce and condone illegal racial profiling policies.”
On January 31, 2008, CCR filed a class action stop-and-frisk lawsuit charging the NYPD with engaging in racial profiling and suspicion-less stop-and-frisks of law-abiding New York City residents. In April, CCR served discovery requests on the City, seeking production of the NYPD’s stop and frisk data going back to 1998. According to CCR attorneys, the named plaintiffs in the case – David Floyd, Lalit Clarkson, and Deion Dennis – represent the thousands of New Yorkers who have been stopped on the way to work, in front of their homes, or just walking down the street without any cause, primarily because they were men of color.
The Floyd case stems from CCR's landmark racial profiling case, Daniels v. City of New York – filed in the wake of the Amadou Diallo shooting – that led to the disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit and a settlement with the City in 2003. The Daniels settlement agreement required the NYPD to maintain a written racial profiling policy that complies with the United States and New York State Constitutions and to provide stop-and-frisk data to CCR on a quarterly basis from the last quarter of 2003 through the first quarter of 2007. An analysis of the data revealed that the NYPD continued to engage in stop-and-frisks without suspicion and based on race. That analysis and all the data it was based on were under a protective order that did not allow it to be released to the public.
CCR will release a detailed report on the stop-and-frisks that is critical of the City’s continued racial profiling policy when the NYPD hands over the data, as ordered by the judge.
For more information, see the Floyd v. City of New York case page.
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.