September 2, 2011
Federal Judge indicts NYPD in Stop And Frisk Racial Profiling Lawsuit
A federal judge in an 86-page decision ruled that a lawsuit by several plaintiffs raises serious questions about quotas, racial profiling, and constitutional rights that should be heard by a jury:
Despite attempts to have it thrown out, the Center for Constitutional Rights' lawsuit accusing the NYPD of "stop and frisk" racial profiling will proceed. Yesterday Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that there was enough evidence, stating, "This case presents an issue of great public concern... the disproportionate number of African-Americans and Latinos who become entangled in our criminal justice system, as compared to Caucasians."
NYPD data shows that about 85 percent of the stops are conducted on non-whites, but NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly has long maintained that these stops are more about the demographics of criminals than racial profiling. The court's ruling comes on the heels of news showing that the NYPD is on pace to stop and frisk more people than ever before. The Daily News reports that 317,000 people were stopped between January 1 and June 30, an increase of almost 14 percent from last year. Last year was a record too, in case you were wondering.
The increasing number of stops is troubling, said Darius Charney, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights. "We had 575,000 in 2009, just over 600,000 in 2010, and we're now on pace for over 700,000 this year," Charney tells the Times. "All this is in an era of either declining or flat crime rates, which begs the question: Is there really a need for this many stops?"