July 16, 2010, New York--The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) today issued the following statement in response to Governor Paterson signing into law a bill that will protect the identities of New Yorkers who are stopped and frisked by the NYPD without being issued a summons or being arrested:
The Center for Constitutional Rights applauds Governor Paterson for protecting the identities of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are stopped and frisked every year by the NYPD without being issued a summons or being arrested, but cautions that the other data collected by the police as required by the New York City law is vital to our attempts to hold the police department accountable for racial profiling and other abuses in its stop-and-frisk program.
The NYPD must be clear that the new law does not absolve its officers of the duty of reporting all stops-and-frisks or give it carte blanche to stop New Yorkers at will with no record or accountability.
CCR won a court order in our lawsuit charging racial profiling in stop-and-frisks, Floyd v. City of New York, that requires the NYPD to turn over all the raw data from its stops and allows us to make it public with details removed that could be used to identify both the person stopped and the officer making that stop. This has resulted in important analyses in the press and in our case showing systematic abuses and constitutional violations by officers. There is no reason to keep the names and addresses of the men and women stopped and not issued summonses or arrested—a full 90 percent of those stopped each year—but it is critical to remember that without the rest of the data, including race, sex, location of stop, reason for stop and other details, there would be no way to hold the NYPD responsible for constitutional violations.
For more information on CCR’s stop-and-frisk case, Floyd v. City of New York visit our website.
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.