March 19, 2015, New York – In response to the ruling by a federal judge today agreeing with the City’s proposal that the New York City police unions be consulted during the Joint Reform Process resulting from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) stop-and-frisk case Floyd v. City of New York rather than granting the official status the unions had sought, the Center issued the following statement:
Over the next two days, attorneys in the Center for Constitutional Rights’ landmark stop-and-frisk case and our partners at Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) are convening with the remarkable activists and law enforcement officials who led change in Cincinnati through the collaborative process that served as inspiration for the Joint Reform Process ordered by the court here in New York. Under the Joint Reform Process, all stakeholders will work together to come up with much needed reforms to policing in New York, and the monitor will then make recommendations to the court based on those outcomes.Meanwhile, the police unions had asked to be given special status with the court to be permitted to file objections to the monitors’ recommendation after they are transmitted to the judge. We and the City filed our objections to that approach yesterday, each arguing instead that the unions should be consulted by the City and NYPD during the formation of the immediate reforms, just as CPR is being consulted, but they should not have the right to participate or object via the court after reforms have been developed because, as the courts have ruled, they are not a party to the suit, and it would cause a substantial delay and only serve to undermine the process. The court issued an order today that chose our recommendations over the unions’ request.We have always hoped and expected the unions to participate meaningfully in the reform process: as we learned from the Cincinnati experience, buy-in from police officers can be hard, but it is absolutely critical to lasting reform. We hope the PBA and other police unions in New York City follow the example of their colleagues in Cincinnati, where all stakeholders did the hard work of building a better future for their city together.
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.