December 13, 2017, New York – In response to the court-appointed monitor in the Center for Constitutional Rights’ landmark stop-and-frisk case Floyd v. City of New York filing his seventh status report with the court on the court-ordered reforms, CCR issued the following statement:
While we are pleased with the progress that has been made in developing new written policies and trainings on stop and frisk and racial profiling, the report highlights some significant areas of concern that must be addressed to bring the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices into compliance with the Constitution.
The NYPD’s own audits show that more than one out of every four stops recorded by NYPD officers in the first half of 2017 lacked reasonable suspicion, i.e. were unconstitutional. That means the NYPD is getting a C- in terms of complying with the Fourth Amendment. A C- is not “substantial compliance” with the court-ordered reforms.
The NYPD’s own audits also show that NYPD officers are failing to record more than half of the stops they conduct. This of course means that the reported reduction in the number of stops in recent years is overstated. More important, it is difficult if not impossible to assess the constitutionality of stops and frisks made by NYPD officers when there is no record of those encounters.
In his November 2016 Status Report to the Court, the monitor noted that the NYPD had retained one of the nation’s leading scholars on implicit bias, Professor Phillip Goff of John Jay College, to help the department develop implicit bias training for officers. Now, a year later, the monitor states in this most recent report, without any explanation, that the NYPD has stopped working with Professor Goff and has instead hired Fair and Impartial Policing, a group whose instructors have no formal training in implicit bias and whose implicit bias training program has never been rigorously evaluated. Because this reform is so critical—the Floyd case was first and foremost about racially-biased policing—the court, and the public, need to know the reason for this drastic change in direction by the NYPD, but the monitor’s report does not provide any.
This lack of transparency is troubling.
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.