Court Denies Motion to Overturn ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Ruling


A federal appeals court denied motions to vacate rulings that the New York Police Department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy has been carried out in an unconstitutional and discriminatory manner.

The five-page ruling, by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, likely brings to an end the city’s efforts to reverse the decision handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin in August. In addition to calling the policy unconstitutional, Scheindlin’s decision included orders for immediate changes to the program, and a monitor to supervise reforms.

In October, the Court of Appeals removed Scheindlin from the case for violating the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, in part because of interviews with media that the court said called her impartiality into question.

New York City argued that Scheindlin’s removal represented just cause to ify her rulings. The city’s mayor-elect, Bill de Blasio, has indicated he will not pursue the appeal, and has repeatedly spoken out against the “stop-and-frisk” policy.

“Stop-and-frisk” refers to the police practice of stopping civilians, without probable cause, because there is reason to suspect a crime has or may soon occur. New York City has been at the epicenter of a national debate over the tactic, which mayor Michael Bloomberg and police Commissioner Raymond Kelly credit with helping decrease crime during the last decade.

But critics argue that stops — nearly 700,000 in 2011 — unfairly target black and Hispanic people, while fewer than 10 percent lead to charges.

The court’s full decision is embedded below:

Graham Kates is deputy managing editor of The Crime Report. He welcomes comments from readers. He can be found on Twitter @GrahamKates.

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