Judge Grants Stop-and-Frisk Lawsuit Class Action Status

05/16/2012 1:11 PM |


Yay! The lawsuit against the NYPD’s horrifically racist constant harassment of men of color, aka stop-and-frisk, has been granted class-action status, according to the Times.

Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan wrote in her ruling on Wednesday that the evidence presented to her showed that the Police Department had a centralized policy that had led to a vast number of illegal stops.

Judge Scheindlin said that the evidence also showed that the department had a “policy of establishing performance standards and demanding increased levels of stops and frisks” that has led to an exponential growth in the number of stops. [City Room]

Last year, there were more black men ages 14 to 24 stopped than there are black men in that age group in the entire city. Which means lots of people are being stopped very frequently. Though police sources defend stop and frisk because they credit it with bringing down the murder rate in the city (a dubious claim that would be pretty difficult to actually substantiate with facts), it doesn’t really matter, because nobody’s civil rights should be violated in the name of crime reduction. That’s kind of the point of having civil rights!

Anti-stop-and-frisk campaigners are holding a silent march on June 17—Fathers’ Day—to protest the policy.

4 Comment

  • The fact of the matter is blacks commit 80% of all shootings in the city, Hispanics commit 18%, and whites commit 1.4%. We can debate the effectiveness of stop-and-frisk, but given this reality, I’m not sure how you expect the police to address gun violence effectively in a way that is not open to the charge of being “horrifically racist.” Getting people to stop shooting each other has to focus on the people who are shooting each other.

  • The fact of the matter is that nearly all drugs in Williamsburg are transported in by white college students, and almost all quality-of-life violations are by transients that Yo Yo Pa celebrates over neighbors–though of course we all know which side of the so-called “war on brunch” some lie on, so I suggest we employ the same logic that Yo Yo Pa enjoys using for others and actually amplify stop-and-frisk, for whites. The police don’t only stop-and-frisk for guns, but because Yo Yo Pa is looking for a way to effectively bait race and to avoid scrutiny of the beloved agents of gentrification, Yo Yo Pa reduces it to the words that scare college campus sweatshirts right off bodies: “gun violence.” Hmmmmmm.

  • The Southside is one of the largest concentrations of “stop-and-frisk” though the crime stats in the area do not corroborate or justify the use of such a tactic, irrespective of Yo Yo Pa’s shot from the hip, “I’m not sure how you expect the police to address gun violence effectively in a way that is not open to the charge of being “horrifically racist.”” No, the use of “stop-and-frisk,” irrespective of Kelly’s defenses and Yo Yo Pa’s gentrification creamsicle, is meant to harass residents in favor of transients. For example, the very specific use of “stop-and-frisk” at Graham Avenue between Grand Street and Broadway. This is an area that could have, according to Yo Yo Pa’s apologia/logic, used “stop-and-frisk” 2, 5, 10, 20, 100 years ago–it doesn’t matter. But the tactic didn’t emerge because there is a genuine concern to alleviate gun violence [from the “locals”] or violence stemming from drugs [which includes gun violence and i coming from the agents of gentrification]–the concern is GENTRIFICATION. Stop-and-frisk is a conspicuous display by institutions of power [the police and the Mayor’s office] that they are ushering out the residents and favoring the locals. The influence of “actual crime” is incidental–the NYPD don’t have 4, 5 officers at every intersection on Graham Ave to stop crime but to assure agents of gentrification. The nuance is subtle, and difficult for gentrification apologists to perceive.

  • Here, just today in fact, is this NY Times article corroborating exactly what I am arguing herein, namely that the rationale for “stop-and-frisk” is supported by many different points in the historical past but was not, while the scenario that would have matched the rationale Yo Yo Pa and gentrification apologia et al was gone more than 10 years ago. To reiterate and emphasize, the point of “stop-and-frisk” is not to deter crime but to harass and intimidate residents while assuring agents of gentrification.