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Court Denies Police Unions’ Late Attempt to Join Stop-and-Frisk Case, Approves Agreement to Proceed with Joint Remedial Plan

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Court Monitor to Oversee Reforms for Minimum of Three Years

press@ccrjustice.org

July 30, 2014, New York – Today, federal District Judge Analisa Torres rejected the attempts of several police unions to intervene in Floyd v. City of New York, the landmark stop-and-frisk class action lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel Beldock, Levine & Hoffman and Covington & Burling in which the district court previously found the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices racially discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional.  The court ruled the Union’s request to intervene was filed years too late, given the significance and wide notoriety surrounding the case and that, in any event, the unions have no distinct interest as a bargaining unit in the court’s finding of liability against the City or in the joint remedial process ordered by the court. 

In a separate ruling, the court accepted the agreement of the City and counsel for plaintiffs to drop the City’s pending appeal of the Floyd liability decision and proceed with the joint remedial process ordered by District Judge Shira Scheindlin in August of last year.  The court accepted the parties’ proposed modification that the court-appointed monitor’s term will end in three years if the City achieves “substantial compliance” with court-ordered reforms.  According to the agreement of the City and Floyd plaintiffs, the City will now move to withdraw the Bloomberg administration’s appeal from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. 

“Today’s ruling sets us on the road to beginning a joint reform process that fully engages the community and will bring true accountability to the NYPD,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Darius Charney.  “For too long, communities of color have felt under siege by the police, and young Black and Latino men have disproportionately been the target.  Now community groups, faith leaders, unions, and other stakeholders can come to the table and work collaboratively to create a city in which the rights of all New Yorkers are protected.”
 
On August 12, 2013, a federal court found the New York City Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional.  In a 198-page ruling following a 10-week trial, Judge Shira Scheindlin found that the NYPD’s practices violate New Yorkers’ Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and that the practices were racially discriminatory in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  In January, the Center for Constitutional Rights, co-counsel, and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the agreement that would result in the withdrawal of the City’s appeal in Floyd, filed at the eleventh hour by the outgoing Bloomberg administration.
 
Jonathan Moore, co-counsel in Floyd said, “The Police Unions should now stand down from their attempt to delay the implementation of meaningful reforms that the courts and the people of New York proved are necessary.  The remedial order gives the unions a seat at the table, thus there was no need for them to seek intervention  We urge the Police Unions in the strongest terms to become a part of the solution to over-policing in this city and work with plaintiffs, the mayor’s office and affected communities toward positive change.”
 
For the remedy phase of the case, Floyd was joined with Ligon v. City of New York, brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Bronx Defenders, and Latino Justice PRLDF.  Ligon challenges a subsection of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol many private apartment buildings throughout New York City.
 
Floyd was filed in 2008 and stems from an earlier Center for Constitutional Rights racial profiling case, Daniels et al. v. City of New York, et al., which led to the disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit of the NYPD.  Daniels was filed in the wake of the Amadou Diallo shooting, which marked its 15th anniversary in February.
 
Covington & Burling LLP and Bedlock Levine and Hoffman LLP are co-counsel in the case.
 
Read today’s rulings:
 
 

 

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.