At a Glance
March 8, 2021
Amicus brief filed March 8, 2021.
Bronx Defenders, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., NYCLU, Legal Aid Society, Beldock Levine Hoffman
March 9, 2021
The Center for Constitutional Rights, along with Bronx Defenders, the Legal Aid Society, NAACP-LDF, NYCLU, and the law firm of Beldock, Levine & Hoffman, filed an amicus brief in support of the Defendant-Appellant in United States v. Weaver, a federal criminal appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit challenging the constitutionality of a frisk of a Black passenger during a traffic stop by officers from the Syracuse, NY, police department. The brief highlights the testimony of dozens of Black and Latinx New Yorkers during the Joint Remedial Process in the Center for Constitutional Rights' landmark stop-and-frisk class action, Floyd v. City of New York, to illustrate how invasive, humiliating, and frightening stop-and-frisk encounters often are for people of color in over-policed communities even when the stopping police officers do not physically touch them. This reality of policing for people of color, the brief argues, supports the conclusion that the frisk of the Black passenger began at the moment the police officer ordered him to stand spread eagle with his hands on the hood of the car, when the officer had no reasonable basis to believe he was armed and dangerous and thus was could not legally frisk him.
The case is being heard en banc by the entire Second Circuit, whose decision will establish the legal standards for frisks during traffic stops for police officers throughout New York State, Connecticut, and Vermont. A decision is expected in mid-to-late 2021.