Federal Judge Restricts NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Program Aimed at Trespassers

Today a federal judge ordered the New York Police Department to stop routinely detaining and frisking people outside buildings in the Bronx under the so-called Trespass Affidavit Program (TAP). The program, conducted in cooperation with landlords, is supposedly aimed at trespassers, but U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin found that police frequently harass tenants and guests who have a right to be where they are:

While it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists, and the N.Y.P.D. has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside TAP buildings in the Bronx. For those of us who do not fear being stopped as we approach or leave our own homes or those of our friends and families, it is difficult to believe that residents of one of our boroughs live under such a threat. In light of the evidence presented at the hearing, however, I am compelled to conclude that this is the case.

Scheindlin was responding to a lawsuit brought by Jaenean Ligon, whose 17-year-old son was detained and frisked by police outside their apartment building in August 2011 on his way back from buying ketchup to go with the family's dinner. Scheindlin emphasized that the Fourth Amendment requires "reasonable suspicion" that someone is trespassing before he can be stopped by police as an allegedly unauthorized intruder. The fact that someone has entered or exited a building is not enough, she said, and neither are "furtive movements" or the target's presence in a high-crime area, the rationales most frequently offered by police on forms documenting their stops.

Scheindlin is also handling a case involving stop-and-frisk encounters in public housing projects and a class action arguing that the overall program violates the Fourth Amendment because stops often are not based on reasonable suspicion and the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause because the targets, who are overwhelmingly black or Hispanic, are selected based on race. Her decision in Ligon v. City of New York is here.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    NYPD coppers are going to have to stop and frisk a lot of people at random in the open street to make up for the loss.

  • sloopyinca||

    PoliceOne reacts predictably to the above story.

    Comment 1:
    Posted by 911muscles on Tuesday, January 08, 2013 09:58 AM Pacific Report Abuse
    1. Train an be prepared for the wors and be ready to commit a violent act in order to make it home.
    2. redbox
    3. Dark corner (watch your six) an enjoy entertainment.
    4. Dont do on-view (proactive) because its gona get you fired.
    5. Only run code if your buddies need help, everyone else can wait.
    6. Make plans now so you get out at 20-30 and enjoy retirement.
    7. Get more guns because soon (if not already) police officers will be useles.

    This guy sounds stable and I'm happy to have him patrolling our streets.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    It reads like Dunphy grammar.

  • ||

    To be fair, the overall structure here is much better than Dunphy's, but the spelling is worse.

  • John||

    I cannot believe, well I can but I hate that the world has gotten so bad I can, that anyone could actually make the argument that the target's presence in a high-crime area is reasonable suspicion for anything. Someone has to live in high crime areas. That argument is saying that living in a high crime area vitiates all of your 4th Amendment rights.

    Making that argument to a court brings the term "government hack" to a whole new level.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Oh come on - "gotten so bad"? Several years ago in Cook County, IL at 26th and Cal a CPD officer at a PC hearing said he stopped a guy because he was leaving a known crack house - when asked why it was a known crack house, the cop said because he saw this guy leaving it. Might be one of the few PC hearings where the state lost. You really have to F up bad to get a Cook County judge to look up at you like you farted at High Mass given by Cardinal George on Easter.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Can I do a citizen's stop and frisk? So, for instance, if I see a cop or politician in a high-crime area, can I stop and frisk him? And use whatever force necessary if he refuses to comply?

  • Jeff||

    I don't see why you shouldn't be able to do it anywhere. They are employed in a high-crime occupation.

  • John||

    And journalists Pro. Don't forget journalists. They are a high crime occupation if there ever was one.

  • John||

    What you never hear is an actual accounting of how many criminals stop and frisk actually catches? If you take out the occasional kid caught with pot I bet damn few criminals are caught because of this policy.

    And the officer safety rational is even worse. If I am a lunatic out to kill a cop, I somehow doubt I am going to let him frisk me and take away my weapon.

    If this policy does anything but harass minorities and make sure they stay off the streets and out of white neighborhoods, I have yet to hear it.

  • Almanian.||

    Jesus fucking Christ, there truly is no ignominy that New Yorkers will not suffer. Well, or be FORCED to suffer unless they're lucky enough to get one of the Robed Ones to entervene for them.

    What a fucked up place. I don't know how anyone could live there. Seriously.

  • John||

    But most New Yorkers don't suffer such ignominy. I love New York City. And I love to walk in New York City. I have literally walked the entire length and breadth of Manhattan at one time or another. And I have never once been stopped and frisked. Last month I went to the Stones concert at the Barclay center and spent a good part of Saturday wondering around Park Slope and Fort Green and again, never stopped and frisked.

    Good self respecting white people don't get stopped and frisked. This policy is totally about white New Yorkers willing to subject minorities to any ignominy in the name of public safety. If they started stopping and frisking white people, this policy would end very quickly.

  • nicole||

    Yep, John is right on about this. Even at the height of OWS, I was spending a lot of time downtown where it was absolutely packed with cops, who I always feel a bit afraid of, but they were nothing but super friendly.

  • ||

    Both John and nicole are correct. People who have not spent significant time in NYC or lived there really do not know what they are talking about and should realize that.

    There are many shitty aspects to NYC, and there are many awesome aspects to NYC. But there are so many people and there is so much going on that you can completely lose yourself in it and almost never have to deal with the government if you keep your head down.

  • John||

    As much as I would like to hate the place and as much as I hate a good number of people who live there, I can't help but love it.

    And I had never been to Brooklyn before last month. I found the people, at least in Slope Park and Fort Green to be complete assholes. The total rude, begging for an ass kicking assholes that people outside of New York think all New Yorkers are. I have never found Manhattanites to be like that. But maybe it just wasn't my day, but my God did I meet a lot of assholes for one place and one day.

  • Robert||

    Brooklyn's had that rep for over a century. Of course it's just a generaliz'n, and there are plenty of very sweet people in the boro, but the stereotype has a basis in fact. You'd wonder why you wouldn't get regression to the mean, but there's a plausible mechanism for sustaining such a gradient: It helps to be a jerk to be able to stand it long in an environment with a higher than avg. proportion of jerks.

  • Rhywun||

    It comes down to neighborhood more than borough. I live in decidedly untrendy Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and there's just no asshole factor at all.

    And yep, in 15 years I have interacted with a cop maybe twice - once during 9/11 as I was walking home and once when I was trashed and spilling the contents of my sandwich all over the subway station floor. Oh, and once when I was drinking a beer outside. Hell, I've walked down the street smoking a joint without so much as a how d'you do.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I got hassled by some Puerto Rican cop doing some kind of "quality of life" patrol, in the subway station, in Manhattan when I visited New York for only a few days one time. Fuck that city and fuck its pigs.

  • SugarFree||

    Yeah, there is a common delusion that living in a small place where everyone knows everyone else's business is some sort of optimal paradise. The anonymity of cities has its advantages.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    You sound like my late grandmother - she left small town Iowa with both middle fingers extended and waving.

  • ||

    Excellent point.

    I once took my grandfather's lincoln out into the woods to a very isolated area to check for pine beetles. He had complained that they might be getting in the trees and wanted me to check.

    I spent the day in the woods and didnt see a soul. Not one person. I drove home.

    When I checked my answering machine there was a message from my aunt in shreveport ( I lived half the state away ) demanding to know what I was thinking driving that lincoln around in the woods.

    In the city no one gives a shit who you are or what you are up to.

  • Redmanfms||

    Yeah, there is a common delusion that living in a small place where everyone knows everyone else's business is some sort of optimal paradise. The anonymity of cities has its advantages.

    It's a common delusion that living in a small place means everyone is into everyone else's business. It's also a common delusion that big cities offer anything in the way of anonymity. The biggest, douchiest, busybodies I've ever had the distinct misfortune of meeting were the old Jewish ladies who lived in my building in Rego Park when I was stuck working a contract in New Yaulk. (BTW, it's probably easier to murder a politician and get away with it than it is to get a short-term lease in NYC. Renting there is a fucking nightmare, I cannot imagine what kind of Hellish torture buying must be. Luckily I got a furnished sub-let off some dude who was going to Israel for a few months.)

    I live in BFE and none of my neighbors even know my name, nor do I know their names. People generally mind their own shit around these parts.

  • BakedPenguin||

    What a fucked up place. I don't know how anyone could live there. Seriously.

    Um... don't you live in Detroit?

  • John||

    My wife watches that show Hard Core Pawn on TruTV. It is a reality show about a Pawn Shop in Detroit. If you ever think that you have too much faith in humanity, watch that show. It will end any of those delusions real quick.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I saw a little bit of one episode, a gay guy trying to sell a Cabbage Patch Doll. It didn't end well.

  • John||

    None of the episodes end well.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    How could they end well, I mean they end in Detroit, right?

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Someone could pawn something and use the money to buy a Greyhound ticket.

  • Almanian.||

    "...and we'd have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling jurists..."

  • ||

    Man, NYC is fucked up. I'm glad I live in a place that is completely free of abusive pigs and corrupt scum politicians.

  • John||

    You do live in Cleveland right?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Your town is run by the mob, right?

  • John||

    I would take the mob over Nanny Bloomburg any day.

  • ||

    No way. The crookscum here never line their pockets with public money, and there was never a carbomb war here in the 70s. What are you saying? That's offensive.

  • John||

    We had one of those in Kansas City. Car bombs must have been in vogue among wise guys back then.

  • ||

    Assault weapons were banned back then. They had to make do.

    Also, make sure you see Kill The Irishman.

  • John||

    Danny Greene. He just wasn't smart enough to understand that the way to beat the Italian mob was to make the FBI a part of your business. Didn't he ever talk to his Mc compatriots in Boston?

  • ||

    What do you mean? He was an FBI informant.

  • John||

    He was? I need to watch that movie. I only know him as the Irishmen who took on the mob and damn near won.

  • ||

    From the Wikipedia entry on John Nardi:

    On May 17, 1977, in Cleveland, a bomb was placed in a car next to Nardi's vehicle in the rear of the parking lot of the Teamsters Joint Council 41, across from the musicians union. When Nardi left his office and entered into his vehicle, the bomb was detonated by remote control. The impact from the explosion had blown away both of Nardi's legs. According to the book To Kill the Irishman by Rick Porrello, as Nardi was being pulled away from the wreckage, Nardi whispered "It didn't hurt" in a final act of defiance. He was pronounced dead within minutes.
    [edit]

    They don't make gangster scum like they used to. That guy had panache.

  • John||

    when I was a kid in Kansas city they blew up some mobster twice. The first time was in a car bomb. That crippled him. The second time, they wired his electric wheel chair to explode. The Cavella mob really didn't fuck around.

  • NeonCat||

    Maybe car bombs are like drones for nonPOTUSes? You don't have to be there when it happens and (usually) the guy ends up dead and (hopefully) his "business associates" are intimidated.

  • sloopyinca||

    PoliceOne reacts predictably to the above story.

    Comment 1:
    Posted by 911muscles on Tuesday, January 08, 2013 09:58 AM Pacific Report Abuse
    1. Train an be prepared for the wors and be ready to commit a violent act in order to make it home.
    2. redbox
    3. Dark corner (watch your six) an enjoy entertainment.
    4. Dont do on-view (proactive) because its gona get you fired.
    5. Only run code if your buddies need help, everyone else can wait.
    6. Make plans now so you get out at 20-30 and enjoy retirement.
    7. Get more guns because soon (if not already) police officers will be useles.

    This guy sounds stable and I'm happy to have him patrolling our streets.

  • ||

    911muscles

    No way. You're fucking with us.

  • John||

    7. Get more guns because soon (if not already) police officers will be useles.

    He does have a point there.

  • nicole||

    Cristina Kirchner has learned her lesson. Sort of.

    Argentine President Cristina Kirchner will go on a four-nation trip in a rented British airplane for fear that her official aircraft would be impounded in a debt dispute, the government said Monday.

    Despite a bitter war of words with London over the Falkland Islands, Kirchner's government is paying British air charter firm Chapman Freeborn $880,000 for the trip to Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • nicole||

    Moron, wrong thread.

  • ||

    The right post in the wrong thread can make all the difference in the world....

  • waaminn||

    That looks like its gonna be really good man, I mean like wow.

    www.Anon-Big.tk

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