A Federal Court in New York City ruled this week that the New York Police Department must cease its practice of stopping and frisking innocent people in public areas outside thousands of private apartment buildings in the Bronx through its controversial stop-and-frisk policy.
Judge Shira A. Scheindlin barred NYPD’s enforcement of Operation Clean Halls, a New York City program within the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy that allows police officers to patrol in and around certain private apartment buildings stopping residents at random. Scheindlin said that NYPD officials know, or should have known, that the stops are unConstitutional.
“The evidence of numerous unlawful stops at the hearing strengthens the conclusion that the NYPD’s inaccurate training has taught officers the following lesson: stop and question first, develop reasonable suspicion later,” she wrote in her decision.
The ruling, civil rights advocates say, is a major step in entirely dismantling NYPD’s unConstitutional stop-and-frisk policy.
“Today’s decision is a major step toward dismantling the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk regime,” said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman in a statement. “Operation Clean Halls has placed New Yorkers, mostly black and Latino, under siege in their own homes in thousands of apartment buildings. This aggressive assault on people’s constitutional rights must be stopped.”
This is the first time a Federal court has ruled against the intrusive stop-and-frisk policies of the NYPD.