Well, this was a surprise to find. The highly controversial program of Stop/Frisk in New York City is set to resume, due to a decision late today out
of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. This isn't what I'd call good news.
The three-page ruling unseats from the case the outspoken U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, whose press statements defending her handling of
the case smacked of bias in the eyes of the appellate court.
In August, Scheindlin found that the NYPD trampled upon the rights of mostly black and Latino men by stopping, questioning and frisking them in droves
without reasonable cause. The court heard statistics from Columbia University professor Jeffrey Fagan showing that the roughly 80 percent of the 4.4
million stops made between 2004 and 2012 targeted black and Latino New Yorkers and visitors.
Now personally, I am supportive of cops having the ability to stop someone and question them if there is a clear
indication of probable cause
and wrongdoing. You know, like carrying a TV down the street at 2am, when up the street, the broken window of the local electronics store is all over
the front sidewalk.
That sort of thing.
This is NOT that sort of clear cut policy that most citizens could see a logical basis to support. No, this isn't like that at all.
Now this Judge, whatever her motivations or however her ruling came about, had blocked this. The graphic above should speak for itself as to what was
fundamentally wrong with this whole concept.
This next part should get anyone's attention.....especially for the source of it.
Her ruling ordered police officers to wear video cameras while stopping and frisking suspects, document why they made every stop, and face the
scrutiny of a court-appointed monitor on guard for racial profiling.
New York City lawyers called the measures intrusive and hoped to get rid of this oversight on appeal, and city officials attacked the judge's
impartiality. The New York Daily News reported, as the trial was going on, that an internal document of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration
allegedly found Scheindlin more likely to rule against the NYPD on constitutional issues than her colleagues on the
It's that last part that grabbed my attention, although the first part gave me a chuckle. I don't live in NYC, so I'd missed the particulars of
some of this when it had gone into effect.
However, Mayor Bloomberg's Office is running profile reports on U.S. District Judges? Now that alone seems worth a whole different thread, doesn't
As it is, if you're in New York? It sounds like the NYPD will be back at it for stopping on what they deem to be a suspicion and maybe...but likely
not, panning out to actually produce anything to show for trouble they caused a citizen.
The Big Apple seems a little rotten. At least, when it comes to the attitude and policies of the NYPD, in this situation.