US District Judge Shira Sheindlin of Manhattan has granted class action status to a 2008 lawsuit accusing the NYPD of discriminating against blacks and Hispanics with its “Stop and Frisk” program.
In her ruling, Sheindlin asserts that there is overwhelming evidence that the “Stop and Frisk” program has led to countless illegal stops, and that a class action is the proper means by which victims can have legal recourse.
The lawsuit asserts that the NYPD consciously centered their “Stop and Frisk” program on communities of color, illegally stopping many innocent people in order to meet qoutas.
“Scheindlin said she found it “disturbing” that the city responded to the lawsuit by saying a court order to stop the practice would amount to ‘judicial intrusion,’ and that no injunction could guarantee that suspicionless stops would never occur or would only occur in a certain percentage of encounters.
‘First, suspicionless stops should never occur,’ Scheindlin wrote. She said the police department’s ‘cavalier attitude towards the prospect of a `widespread practice of suspicionless stops’ displays a deeply troubling apathy towards New Yorkers’ most fundamental constitutional rights.'”
Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg continues to defend the “Stop and Frisk” program as essenital to keeping New Yorkers – black and white – safe.
“‘Nobody should ask Ray Kelly to apologize – he’s not going to and neither am I – for saving 5,600 lives. And I think it’s fair to say that stop, question and frisk has been an essential part of the NYPD’s work; it’s taken more than 6,000 guns off the streets in the last eight years, and this year we are on pace to have the lowest number of murders in recorded history. … We’re not going to do anything that undermines that trend and threatens public safety.'”
Do you agree with the judge’s decision?
Is the “Stop and Frisk” program a racist, discriminatory policy?
Sound off below!