Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Judge Grants Stop-and-Frisk Lawsuit Class Action Status

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

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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.

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