Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Boot to Stop-and-Frisk Judge Won’t Kill Rulings

MANHATTAN (CN) - After controversially booting the federal judge who ruled against New York City's stop-and-frisk policing practices, the 2nd Circuit refused to vacate her ruling Friday.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin had made history on Aug. 12 when she found that the New York City Police Department trampled the Fourth Amendment and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause by unconstitutionally targeting minorities with stop-and-frisk tactics.

Though Scheindlin did not stop the program, the remedies she laid out aimed at ensuring that the officers had a reasonable basis to make stops and frisk those detainees for weapons or drugs.

Between 2004 and 2012, police made 4.4 million stops, and 80 percent of these stops were of blacks or Hispanics, Scheindlin noted.

The judge said the department had "adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data."

Going forward, under Scheindlin's order, police would have to wear cameras during stop-and-frisk procedures, while a federal monitor oversaw reforms within the department.

These reforms still have not gotten off the ground, however, because the 2nd Circuit temporarily stayed Scheindlin's ruling on Oct. 31 and booted her from the case for the appearance of bias in her press statements and remarks from the bench.

New York City in turn filed two motions with the federal appeals court to turn that stay into an order vacating the opinions Scheindlin handed down on Aug. 12 and Feb. 14.

Noting that it clarified its Oct. 31 order last week, days after the city filed those motions, the appellate panel refused in an unsigned decision Friday.

The judges also also denied as moot two motions from a representative of Scheindlin who wanted to oppose the city's maneuvers.

Their five-page opinion closes with an emphasis that they had all of the facts at hand when they unseated Scheindlin last month.

In a statement about the ruling, the Center for Constitutional Rights slammed New York City's "desperate appeal to undo the district court's carefully considered ruling."

The group also reiterated its call for Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio to drop the appeal and "work with plaintiffs and the community to enforce every aspect of the remedial order."

Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.