Let Stop and Frisk Reforms Begin, Attorneys Argue
October 29, 2013, New York – Today, attorneys in the landmark case Floyd v. City of New York urged the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the City’s effort to delay the remedies process to reform the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) unconstitutional stop and frisk practices. The joint remedy process ordered by the district court solicits input from a variety of stakeholders including communities most directly affected by policing in order to determine what the scope of remedies will be; no specific remedies have yet been ordered. Floyd is a federal class action lawsuit that successfully challenged stop and frisk as racially discriminatory and a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches. Last month, the court rejected the City’s first attempt to stay the remedies. Today, CCR urged the appellate court to reject the City’s identical request.
“For over a decade, the City has resisted reforms to this abusive practice. This latest attempt to delay the remedial process is more of the same—except now the City seeks to continue its stop and frisk practices in the face of an unequivocal court ruling that the practice violates the rights of thousands of New Yorkers every year,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Darius Charney. “Delaying the joint remedial process will only continue to harm the communities who have suffered massive violations of their constitutional rights for so long: it is in the community’s interest that we begin the discussion without further delay.”
Numerous community groups, faith leaders, unions, and policing experts have submitted declarations
affirming that a stay of the remedial process is not in the community’s interest. Those submitting declarations include 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, National Association of Latino Officers, SEIU local 32 BJ, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, the National Association of Social Workers, Canaan Baptist Church, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, Streetwise and Safe, and the NAACP. Elected officials, such as Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, and Councilmembers Helen Foster and Robert Jackson also filed declarations and briefs opposing the City’s request for a stay.
Following a 10-weeek trial last spring, the court ruled in August that the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The City has appealed that ruling. CCR and co-counsel also argued today that the appeal should be dismissed pending a final order in the case after the completion of the joint remedial process. For the purposes of the remedy phase, Floyd was joined with the case Ligon v. City of New York, brought by the NYCLU, the Bronx Defenders, LatinoJustice and PRLDEF, which challenges a subsection of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol many private apartment buildings across New York City. Lawyers for Ligon joined the argument today also opposing the stay request.
Read the motion opposing the City’s request for a stay here
Read excerpts of the declarations from community members here
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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.