Now that courts have ruled that New York City's stop-and-frisk search methods unconstitutional, and its City Council has given its residents the stamp-of-approval to sue (overruling a veto from Mayor Michael Bloomberg), here come the lawyers. From the New York Daily News:
A legally blind black man busted three years ago in Harlem became the first stop-and-frisk target to sue the city for false arrest since a federal court ruling against the practice.
Allen Moye, 54, alleged the NYPD arrested him on bogus charges as he waited for a friend on a street corner in September 2010.
"It was racial profiling, what they did," Moye said Thursday. "… It's a different Jim Crow. They try to put everybody behind bars to do their work."
His lawsuit specifically cites Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin's decision as indicative of the NYPD's disregard for the rights of minorities.
Moye claims he was detained by police for complaining about his stop. The story notes that he was charged with five counts of credit card forgery that were later dropped. His lawsuit claims the charges were fabricated to create evidence against him.
Given how many innocent people were caught up in this program, you have to wonder how many more lawsuits just like this one are coming down the line. The City taxpayers of New York may end up taking it on the chin with a bunch of settlements.
Remember how the mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelley said ending stop-and-frisk would result in a spike in crime? So, this week police statistics showed that stop-and-frisk searches have dropped more than 50 percent for the second quarter of this year. Yet violent crime in New York is still lower than it was during this same time last year. Without breaking stride, Bloomberg turned it around and said that this is still somehow proof that stop-and-frisk is effective. From the Associated Press:
"It's been going down because it's been effective" at lowering crime, so fewer stops are needed, Bloomberg said after an unrelated news conference Wednesday.
Now that takes some balls.
Below, Reason TV on the constitutional issues of stop-and-frisk: