Monitor Appointed in New York Stop-and-Frisk Case

     MANHATTAN (CN) – The president of a nonprofit reform outfit will facilitate the remediation of the unconstitutional stop-and-frisk police practices, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
     U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin had noted that she would appoint such a monitor when she ruled against the city last month after a two-month bench trial.
     Nicholas Turner will now take on the task of developing sustainable reforms to the stop-and-frisk practices of the New York City Police Department, according to a six-page order supplementing the remedies opinion.
     Turner spent nine years with the Vera Institute of Justice before it appointed him recently as its fifth president.
     Scheindlin described the institute as “widely recognized for its use of rigorous testing and broad-based collaboration to help governments plan, implement and evaluate improvements to the justice system.”
     “Vera has a long history of working to improve public safety by strengthening its ties between police and the community,” she added.
     The group partnered with the NYPD in the early 1980s to develop the Community Patrol Officer Program, “one of the first community policing programs in the country,” Scheindlin wrote.
     “Mr. Turner initiated and managed projects on racial profiling in prosecution, safety in America’s prisons, sentencing reform, juvenile justice and domestic violence,” she added.
     Turner left Vera for several years to serve as managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation, focusing on urban issues and the redevelopment of post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans to “increase racial and socioeconomic integration.”
     He graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School, then clerked for U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein in Brooklyn.
     Before law school, Turner worked with homeless, at-risk and court-involved youth at Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a community-based youth advocacy and services organization in Washington, D.C.
     Scheindlin’s remedies opinion last month had also called for police to wear cameras during stop-and-frisk procedures.
     David Floyd, Lalit Clarkson, Deon Dennis and David Ourlicht filed a federal class action challenging the department’s stop-and-frisk practices five years ago in Manhattan.     
     Those men’s attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights said Turner was a good choice.
     “We are pleased that the court has appointed Mr. Turner and we are looking forward to working with him in order to move the joint remedy process forward,” the group said in a statement.

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