Judge OKs lawsuit against NYPD over 'stop and frisk'
A federal judge has greenlighted a lawsuit against the NYPD over its stop-and-frisk program.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin granted class action status Wednesday to a 2008 lawsuit that was filed by David Floyd, Latit Clarkson, Deon Dennis and David Ourlich, four men accusing the NYPD of stopping them because they are black.
"[The NYPD's] cavalier attitude towards the prospect of a 'widespread practice of suspicionless stops' displays a deeply troubling apathy towards New Yorkers' most fundamental constitutional rights," she wrote in her decision.
In the first three months this year, 203,500 New Yorkers were stopped and frisked, according to statistics compiled by the NYCLU. More than 80% of those searched this year had broken no laws and only 9% were white, the NYCLU said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly declined to comment about the decision at an unrelated news conference Wednesday. While mayor Michael Bloomberg maintained that the NYPD's practices are legal and have made the city safer over the last decade.
"Nobody's going to ask Ray Kelly to apologize. He's not going to and neither am I for saving 5,600 lives," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during a news conference.
A police spokesman didn't return calls for comment by press time. The city has 14 days to appeal the judge's decision.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, however, praised the judge's decision.
"The current practice of stop and frisk has unfairly and harmfully targeted vast numbers of black and Latino men, and it cries out for immediate reform," he said in a statement.