US JUDGE APPROVES CLASS ACTION

LAWSUIT AGAINST NYPD STOP & FRISK

Finding the city’s attitude “deeply troubling,” a judge granted class action status Wednesday to a 2008 lawsuit accusing the New York Police Department of discriminating against blacks and Hispanics with its stop-and-frisk policies aimed at reducing crime.

She called it “rather audacious” of the police department to argue that legislators already would have passed necessary laws if it were possible to protect people from unlawful searches and seizures.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg — both proponents of the program — declined to comment after U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan said in a written ruling that there was “overwhelming evidence” that a centralized stop-and-frisk program has led to thousands of unlawful stops. She noted that the vast majority of New Yorkers who are unlawfully stopped will never file a lawsuit in response, and she said class-action status was created for just these kinds of court cases.

The lawsuit alleged that the police department purposefully engaged in a widespread practice of concentrating its stop-and-frisk activity on black and Hispanic neighborhoods based on their racial composition rather than legitimate non-racial factors. The lawsuit said officers are pressured to meet quotas as part of the program and they are punished if they do not.

Scheindlin said she found it “disturbing” that the city responded to the lawsuit by saying a court order to stop the practice would amount to “judicial intrusion,” and that no injunction could guarantee that suspicionless stops would never occur or would only occur in a certain percentage of encounters.

"First, suspicionless stops should never occur," Scheindlin wrote. She said the police department’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." 

Continue to full story via WNYC.org »

(Photo Credit: Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

How You Can Get involved »

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Charney, Darius

Biography Position-  Senior Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights

Darius Charney is a senior staff attorney in the Racial Justice/Government Misconduct Docket.  He is currently lead counsel on Floyd v. City of New York, a federal civil rights class action lawsuit challenging the New York Police Department’s unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices, and Vulcan Society Inc. v. the City of New York, a Title VII class action lawsuit on behalf of African-American applicants to the New York City Fire Department which challenges the racially discriminatory hiring practices of the FDNY. 

Prior to coming to CCR in 2008, Darius spent two-and-a-half years as an associate at the New York law firm of Lansner & Kubitschek, where he litigated federal civil rights cases challenging various aspects of New York City and New York State’s child welfare and foster care systems.  Darius received his JD and M.S.W. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001.  From 2003-2005, he was law clerk to the Honorable Deborah A. Batts, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

Floyd et al v City of New York et al

Synopsis

Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al.is a federal class action lawsuit filed against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the City of New York that challenges the NYPD’s practices of racial profiling and unconstitutional stop-and frisks. These NYPD practices have led to a dramatic increase in the number of suspicion-less stop-and-frisks per year in the city, with the majority of stops in communities of color.

CCR has joined with a movement of community members, lawyers, researchers and activists to launch an unprecedented campaign to end discriminatory policing practices in New York. Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) is a campaign that promotes public safety and policing practices based on cooperation and respect– not discriminatory targeting and harassment. It includes a number of community-based, legal and advocacy organizations such as Justice Committee, Make the Road-NY, New York Civil Liberties Union, and the Urban Justice Center.

Status

On May 16, 2012, the Judge issued an Order granting Plaintiffs’ Class Certification Motion.

On April 16, 2012, the Judge issued an Order granting Defendant’s Daubert motion in part and denying the motion in part.

Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Class Certification November 7, 2011.

On August 31, 2011, the Judge denied most of Defendants summary judgment motion, keeping intact Plaintiffs Monell claims against the City, and many of their individual claims.

On October 26, 2010, CCR released an expert report (PDF) for Floyd. The report includes key findings such as:

  • Most stops occur in Black and Latino neighborhoods, and even after adjustments for other factors including crime rates, social conditions and allocation of police resources in those neighborhoods, race is the main factor determining NYPD stops.
  • Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be stopped than Whites even in areas with low crime rates, where populations are mixed or mostly White.
  • Nearly 150,000 stops over the last six years are facially unconstitutional and lack any legal justification. All together, 30 percent of all stops are unconstitutional, underlining a severe lack of adequate officer oversight in the NYPD.
  • Black and Latino suspects are treated more harshly in instances in which police officers make the determination that a crime has occurred. Black and Latino suspects are more likely to be arrested rather than issued a summons when compared to White suspects who are accused of the same crimes. Black and Latino suspects are more likely to have force used against them.
  • The rate of gun seizures is nearly zero—0.15 out of a hundred stops—a disturbingly low return for a law enforcement tactic which the NYPD itself claims is designed specifically  to remove illegal guns from the streets.

Read a summary of the report here.

Read the full report here.

Description

Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. is a federal class action lawsuit filed against the New York City Police Department that charges the NYPD with engaging in racial profiling and suspicion-less stop-and-frisks of law-abiding New York City residents. According to CCR attorneys, the named plaintiffs in CCR’s case – David Floyd, David Ourlicht, Lalit Clarkson, and Deon Dennis – represent the thousands of New Yorkers who have been stopped without any cause on the way to work, in front of their house, or just walking down the street. CCR and the plaintiffs allege that the NYPD unlawfully stopped these individuals because they are men of color.

The Floyd case stems from CCR’s landmark racial profiling case, Daniels, et al. v. City of New York, et al. that led to the disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit and a settlement with the City in 2003. The Daniels settlement agreement required the NYPD to maintain a written racial profiling policy that complies with the United States and New York State Constitutions and to provide stop-and-frisk data to CCR on a quarterly basis from the last quarter of 2003 through the first quarter of 2007. However, an analysis of the data revealed that the NYPD has continued to enagage in suspicion-less and racially pretextual stop-and-frisks.

Have you been stopped by the NYPD?
We are interested in speaking to Black and Latino New Yorkers who feel that they have been improperly stopped, questioned and frisked by members of the NYPD in the last two years, and to learn more about their experiences. If you or anyone you know fits this description and would be interested in speaking to us, please ask them to contact: Sunita Patel at spatel@ccrjustice.org or Ian Head at ihead@ccrjustice.org. Please note that we are unfortunately unable to take individual cases or give individual legal advice at this time.

Floyd focuses not only on the lack of any reasonable suspicion to make these stops in violation of the Fourth Amendment, but also on the obvious racial disparities in who gets stopped and searched by the NYPD—90 percent of those stopped are Black and Latino, even though these two groups make up only 52 percent of the city’s population- which constitute a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The settlement agreement from Daniels required the NYPD to maintain a written racial profiling policy that complies with the U.S. and New York State Constitutions, required the NYPD audit officers who engage in stop-and-frisks and their supervisors to determine whether and to what extent the stop-and-frisks are based on reasonable suspicion and whether and to what extent the stop-and-frisks are being documented, and it required the NYPD to provide stop-and-frisk data to CCR on a quarterly basis, among other provisions.

But after significant non-compliance with the consent decree and after new information released publicly by the City showed a remarkable increase in stop-and-frisks from 2002 to 2006, CCR decided to file this new lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s racial profiling and stop-and-frisk policy.

In 2008, the Center for Constitutional Rights produced a preliminary report on the NYPD’s behavioral trends during Stop and Frisk procedures. The report is available as a PDF download. Additional information, analysis, and reporting can be found on our site at http://ccrjustice.org/stopandfrisk.

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Stop, Stop & Frisk! Watch this video to see how it impacts the community. 

NYPD seizes 250 Guns in Brooklyn and Land the BIGGEST gun Bust in city history! http://therottenappletv.com/home/nypd-seizes-250-guns-in-brooklyn-and-land-the-biggest-gun-bust-in-city-history/

NYPD seizes 250 Guns in Brooklyn and Land the BIGGEST gun Bust in city history!

The NYPD celebrated a huge victory in he war against illegal fire arms. Today the NYPD announced the seizure of 250 illegal firearms and arrested 19 people including Brooklyn rapper Neno Best. The gun ring stretched from New York to South Carolina. The gun sales case is a year in the making. The bust was made thanks to wire taps and rapper Neno Best POSTING pictures of firearms and money on Instagram.

One suspect was caught on the wiretap saying he didn’t want to travel up to Brooklyn with the firearms due to the “Stop and Frisk” procedures being carried out throughout the city.

The suspects used the China town bus, sometimes carrying up to 14 guns at a time when coming into the city. CRAZY! When will you criminals learn, Social Media is being WATCHED by the FEDS.

This certainly wasn’t a smart move by the Brooklyn rapper. perhaps h e can have a dope album to record?

NYPD’s “Stop & Frisk” - Why We Should Pay Close Attention to the Numbers

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The racial divide is clear on the issue; according to a recent Quinnipiac poll 57% of White voters and 53% of Latinos approve of the NYPD’s policy of “Stop & Frisk”, while only 25% of Blacks approve of the measure[1].  At a high-level, the NYPD’s “Stop & Frisk” policy is viewed and accepted by many in this city as a “necessary evil” of sorts.  In the final analysis, the mayor and the police commissioner have defended themselves against the charge of racism by pointing to the fact that most violent crimes committed in NYC are committed by and against Black males.  Therefore, it is only logical that most of the stops, frisks and in some cases arrests are among that same group.  

According to the NYPD’s own statistics, during the first six months of 2012 – there were 342K “Stops” in connection with a violent crime (Murder, Rape, Robbery & Felonious Assault), with 333K persons having a known race or ethnicity.  Using “known race” as our base, 54.2% or 179,712 were Black[2].  We also know from the NYPD numbers that the total number of Black suspects was 8,971[3].   Subtracting our suspect number from the total of all black individuals that were stopped, we’re left with 170,741 innocent persons who were stopped to find just nine thousand suspects – in just six months.  This is what you call a shotgun approach, or Pat Buchannan’s “round’em up” strategy.  In short, the policy that police commissioner defends is one that violates the privacy and dignity of almost one-fifth of the entire black population of NYC over the course of a single year, to find the .8% that are said to be suspects.  In the Latino community, 10% of all persons have been stopped, while just .2% are suspected of violent crimes.

Working on the assumption that the crime statistics as reported by the NYPD are correct, it’s not unreasonable that Blacks are the majority of the individuals stopped under the “Stop & Frisk” program.  However, the sheer volume, nearly twenty percent of ALL innocent law abiding Black New Yorkers in any given full year, which translates to about 48% of black males over the age of 14 per year since 90% of all those stopped are male is prosecutorial itself, as though there is a single minded purpose behind it - besides fighting crime[4]. 

There’s another disturbing trend that pops out from the NYPD’s police stats, the pattern of lower “arrest” versus “suspect” volumes only for Blacks.   For example, in cases of robbery 70% of suspects were black but when arrests were made the number dropped to 61%.  However for whites the suspect number was 4.7%, but the arrest number was 6.1%; for Latinos suspects were 24% and the arrests rose to 30%[5].   

Considering the fact that the NYPD’s own literature justifies what it terms “stop, question-the frisk” based on the “suspect” and not “arrestee” numbers, the nexus between these two activities is alarming [6].

There is a power structure that disproportionately employs and incentives whites to manage the Black community in this city.  Whites are 33% of the city but 52% of those in police uniform.[7] For example, the jobs on the police force and in the fire department pay far better than those of the retail chains in Harlem (that were given tax abatements to set up shop under former President Clinton’s federal empowerment zones) – in short Blacks are disenfranchised in New York City.  The fact that Whites are overrepresented on the police force, and Latinos have demographically proportionate numbers might explain some of the divergent views about “Stop & Frisk” – but it might also impact who is suspected of crimes.

Nonetheless, there is a real fratricidal phenomenon occurring among Blacks, as a majority white police force is paid to manage the chaos via programs like “Stop & Frisk”.   The larger questions that looms is, does “Stop & Frisk” effectively eradicate crime or provide a pipeline to prison that only reinforces a culture of violence?   

The question of a prison pipeline raises another question - why the excessive violence among Blacks? For example, Latinos have a lower citywide median income than African-Americans (although equal in Manhattan and higher in SI), yet the prevalence of violence is much less, indexing appropriately with their demographic composition[8].   Are Blacks simply prone to fratricide since most of the violent crimes they commit are against each other with the exception of robbery and larceny?  In order to understand demographic trends, it’s imperative to examine participation within institutions and industries – or both as in the case of prisons.  The fact is that young Black males are learning how to embrace violence in prison, the only institutions that they have overrepresentation in.   

We know that the majority of New York State’s prison population is comprised of Blacks from the city[9].  We also know that the majority of those in prison are there for non-violent drug related offenses.   Law professor Michelle Alexander notes that if we were to return to pre-1970 incarceration levels, more than one million jobs would be lost[10].  Here we see that prisons have become institutions for Blacks and to a lesser extent for Latinos, but industry for Whites.

The anomaly of Black suspects to arrestee ratio, is not just a sign of prejudice or even the epidemic of Black on Black violence…but quite probably a tell-tell sign of the demand for bodies by the prison industry – which manufactures a culture of fratricide among young African-American males.

There are several spokes in the wheel of the prison industry that keep it afloat, the one that exposes New York City’s liberalism as a façade for white power is the “Stop & Frisk” policy of the NYPD.  What is needed is for Raymond Kelly to answer is why suspect numbers for most violent crimes overstates only Black involvement when compared to their arrestee numbers.  Since it appears that the NYPD “suspect” number is inflated as it relates to Black folks, what answers can the police commissioner provide to explain why he uses them to stop almost 50% percent of the NYC’s teenage and adult African-American males as they go about their daily lives. 

Ultimately, his answers would be immaterial since we can rest assured that he will not confess to a desire to keep a prison industry afloat that is fueled by Black bodies.  The question for the public is, who will force some accountability out of NYC’s top cop.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/stop-and-frisk-poll-shows-nypd-racially-divided_n_1788576.html

[2] Census Bureau 2011: American Community Survey ACS

[3] Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City (Jan, 1 – June 30, 2012), p15

[4] Estimate is based on 2010 race by gender Census data http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/census/demo_tables_2010.shtml

[5] Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City (Jan, 1 – June 30, 2012), p4

[6] See footnote#3

[7] See footnote#2 & 3

[8] “Poverty in New York City” September 2011, ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York

[9] http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/NY_Black.html, http://www.prisonpolicy.org/importing/importing.html

[10]http://www.alternet.org/story/150465/more_black_men_now_in_prison_system_than_were_enslaved

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93 of every 100 Residents in Brownsville Brooklyn have been Stopped and Frisked

I was Stopped & Frisked in Brooklyn (It was laundry day for me)

At 12:30pm there was a crime taking place in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Of course, the criminals got away because the police had stopped me. I asked why I was being stopped. Apparently, they had seen me stop to speak to someone on the corner. I hadn’t spoken to anyone as I pushed my shopping cart with laundry to the dry cleaners. The officer insisted that I had and he seen this take place. Well, if I…

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Newark, NJ Takes Stop-And-Frisk Crown From New York City

Newark, NJ Takes Stop-And-Frisk Crown From New York City

(AllHipHop News) As New York’s Mayor Bill DeBlasio dismantles the controversial stop and frisk policy in New York, Newark, NJ now has became the centerpiece of the racially biased practice, according to new reports.

The American Civil Liberties Union of NJ has dropped the bomb, claiming that Newark uses stop and frisk over 10 times more often than NYC.

This statistic means about 91 of 1,000…

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Sick and Tired

I am sick of tired of Stop&Frisk. 

Fuck you Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg !  AND MOST OF ALL FUCK THE SYSTEM

The mission of the New York Police Department is to enhance the lives of the people by serving and protecting.

 But to what cost will the NYPD pay to follow this mission?  Would it risk jeopardizing the relationship between cops and communities?  Or would it even risk the trust and respect people have for NYPD?

In recent years, the NYPD has implemented an unjust policy, Stop-and-Frisk.  Stop-and-Frisk is a policy that allows officers to search people with reasonable suspicion instead of the higher standard probable cause. The purposes of this policy were to reduce the amount of guns circulating on the streets and to deter people from committing severer crimes. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have made this policy a major priority of officers; for this reason supervising officers expect a certain amount of stops from each officer per quarter. Consequently in pursuit of mass protection, the conduct of officers has become improper and overly aggressive.  The empirics show that stop-and-frisk has caused officers to racially profile the people.  Roughly 85% the stop-and-frisk victims were Black or Latino despite only making up of the slightly less than half of the city`s population.  Stop-and-frisk has been shown to be ineffective for only 2% of all stops result in finding weapons.Stop-and-frisk has only destroyed the initially weak trust and respect between urban communities and cops. It has actually enraged all people of NYC. It has made upstanding citizens feel like criminals in their community, and it has made people feel like they have no fundamental rights because of their neighborhood, dress, and color.The purpose of the NYPD is to enhance the lives of people in the city, but this egregiously unjust policy has on exacerbated the lives of many by hunting and ridiculing.  There is a more effective and humane methods of assuring safety, but stop-and-frisk is certainly not one of them.  

At an unprecedented scheduled hearing for Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, civil rights advocates will seek a judicial order ending the NYPD’s unconstitutional practice of stopping innocent people on suspicion of trespassing in public areas outside of thousands of private apartment buildings in the Bronx.

The hearing at Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Manhattan, Courtroom 15C, before U.S. Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, is part of a federal class-action lawsuit filed in March by the New York Civil Liberties Union, Latino Justice PRLDEF, The Bronx Defenders and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, LLP. It challenges the NYPD’s enforcement of Operation Clean Halls – a citywide program within the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk regime that allows police officers to patrol in and around certain private apartment buildings.

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