Federal Judge Rules New York ‘Stop and Frisk’ Policy Unconstitutional
“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life”, states U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled today that New York City’s infamous ‘stop and frisk’ policy is unconstitutional and violates basic human rights.
According to Scheindlin, this policy – which allows police to have individuals empty their pockets, regardless of previous wrongdoing, only to arrest them if they find anything illegal, such as cannabis or other illegal drugs – leads to “indirect racial profiling”, and that the city’s top officials have “turned a blind eye” to the inappropriate use of this already-unconstitutional policy.
According to Reuters; “As part of her ruling, Scheindlin ordered the appointment of an independent monitor to oversee compliance with other remedies she ordered…The other remedies include the NYPD adopting a written policy specifying circumstances where stops are authorized; adopt a trial program requiring the use of body-worn cameras in one precinct in each of the city’s five boroughs; and to set up a community-based remedial process under a court-appointed facilitator.”
Although the battle is far from over, and this decision will likely be appealed to a higher court, this is still very clearly a huge victory for civil rights in New York.