June 26, 2013, New York – In anticipation of the historic vote tonight in the New York City Council the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the statement below in response:
After years of efforts by community groups to address discriminatory policing by the NYPD, we applaud the City Council for moving towards voting tonight on the Community Safety Act. Tonight’s historic vote represents the fruition of years of organizing by community and civil rights groups to hold the City accountable for its history of discriminatory policing. The Community Safety Act promises a police department that works for the people of New York and is accountable to the people of New York.We hope that once the bills pass, all New Yorkers will be free from living under siege by their own police force.The City must accept that the kind of significant change necessary to fix the problems with the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices will require outside monitoring. The creation of an NYPD Inspector General is a critical step to improving the broad civil rights policies and practices of the department. Given the breadth of the problem, multiple layers of oversight will be necessary, and the ordering of a court-appointed monitor in our class action stop-and-frisk lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, to oversee the remedies ordered by the court would play an important and complimentary role.
The Community Safety Act is a landmark police reform legislative package pending in the New York City Council aimed at ending discriminatory policing and bringing real accountability to the NYPD. CCR has supported these bills alongside community members, elected officials and advocates.
CCR has long been active in the movement to address discriminatory policing practices, including the NYPD’s practices of unconstitutional stops and frisks through advocacy and litigation. CCR documented the impact of the NYPD’s abusive use of stop and frisk in a report released last summer, and urged the United Nations to take on the issue in their upcoming review of the United States in the fall. Moreover, CCR’s lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, challenges the constitutionality of the City’s stop-and-frisk program on behalf of the thousands of New Yorkers who are illegally stopped each year. The trial concluded on May 20, post-trial submissions were filed June 12, and a ruling is expected, though not guaranteed, by the end of summer.
Read more on the issue of stop and frisk at www.stopandfrisk.org and the federal class action lawsuit at Floyd et al v. City of New York et al.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.
June 26, 2013