Attorneys push NYPD to change patrol guidelines for 'stop and frisk'
Civil rights attorneys say they are willing to take the city to court if it doesn't change the way it teaches cops how to "stop and frisk."
Norman Siegel and other opponents of the NYPD's controversial tactic sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner RayKelly this week that said police guidelines for frisking a potential suspect violate a Supreme Court ruling.
In its 1968 decision in Terry v. Ohio, the court said a frisk is constitutional only if the officer believes a suspect is "armed and dangerous" and not because of a hunch."That's the language of the courts, and it's nowhere in the patrol guide," Siegel said.
The mayor's office and NYPD declined to comment about the letter.
"Stop and frisk" has come under intense scrutiny because the majority of those stopped are minorities and ultimately not arrested.
Siegel said he hoped the letter would prompt the department to adhere to the law and added that he would consider bringing the matter to federal court if no there are no changes to the academy guidelines.
"If the mayor and commissioner minimize this . . . history will hold them accountable," he said.