The last time we checked in with the federal stop-and-frisk trial, the city was appealing a ruling that found the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk to be unconstitutional, and filed for a stay during the review process. A stay would allow the NYPD to delay the ordered reforms until after an appeals court ruled. Today, Judge Shira Scheindlin denied that request, dismissing the city's arguments for the stay as flimsy and possibly detrimental.
Judge Scheindlin wrote:
It is well-established that a violation of one’s constitutional rights constitutes irreparable harm. A stay of this court’s orders would encourage the NYPD to return to its former practices of conducting thousands upon thousands of improper stops—including those based merely on a person entering or exiting a building in which he or she resides. The recent reduction in the number of stops appears to have been a positive step toward remedying an improper practice without sacrificing the security of the community.
Judge Scheindlin added that despite the steep drop in stops since the ruling was handed down, crime in the city has not spiked as Mayor Bloomberg suggested it would.
NYCLU president Donna Lieberman said in a statement, “This ruling sends the Bloomberg administration a clear message: No more stalling. It is time end the NYPD’s abusive and discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices."
The Center for Constitutional Rights, who represented the plaintiffs in the federal case, also released the following statement:
The court has correctly recognized that thousands of New Yorkers whose rights are violated regularly by the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices - and not the City itself - are the ones who would be harmed by this latest attempt to delay reforms. After more than a decade of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory police practices, overwhelming legislative support for changes, and a massive mobilization by affected communities, it is long past time for the City to end its resistance and participate in making those changes. If Mayor Bloomberg truly seeks a police force that serves New Yorkers, here is his opportunity—come to the table and help make it a reality.
You can read the ruling in its entirety in a PDF here.