Stop and Frisk

New York's New Mayor Drops Appeal of Stop-and-Frisk Ruling


Office of the Mayor

Today New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city has reached a settlement agreement with the lawyers who challenged the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program in federal court. The agreement leaves in place U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's August 2013 ruling that the program was unconstitutional and the reforms she ordered, including a federal monitor and body cameras to record police encounters. Those changes had been blocked by an appeal that De Blasio promised to drop if elected mayor. "We're here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city," De Blasio said at a press conference today. "We believe in ending the overuse of stop-and-frisk that has unfairly targeted young African-American and Latino men."

As that remark suggests, the NYPD will continue to stop and frisk people, which the Supreme Court has said is permitted under the Fourth Amendment when police reasonably suspect someone is involved in criminal activity and (for the pat-down) that he is armed. Statistics at the center of the case Scheindlin heard indicate that street stops by New York cops, which overwhelmingly targeted young black and Hispanic men, frequently failed this test. Between January 2004 and June 2012, when the NYPD made 4.4 million stops, only 12 percent of the people treated like criminals were arrested or issued a summons. Even more striking, although police are supposed to frisk a subject only if they reasonably believe he is armed, 52 percent of these encounters included pat-downs, only 1.5 percent of which discovered a weapon. Even when officers reached into subjects' clothing after feeling what they claimed to think was a weapon, they were right only 9 percent of the time.

Tellingly, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's main defense of the stop-and-frisk program was that it worked by deterring young men from carrying guns, not that it complied with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment. Yet even before Scheindlin's ruling, the NYPD responded to constitutional criticism of the program by dialing it back. The number of stop-and-frisk encounters, which grew from about 100,000 in Bloomberg's first year as mayor to almost 700,000 in 2011, fell to about 530,000 in 2012. In the first three quarters of 2013, there were 179,000 stops.

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  2. There’s blood in the water. Don’t give up, Big Apple. Keep challenging all the other insane shit Bloomberg pulled. Maybe de Blasio will be lazy enough to let them all slide into the Hudson.

    1. I’m sure New Yorkers won’t give up and will in fact demand that de Blasio reinstate the policy.

      An overwhelming majority of likely voters surveyed ? 77% ? want to continue, in some form, the practice of officers stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people they believe match a crime suspect or are acting suspiciously.


      Most African-Americans and Hispanics ? the groups whom police figures show are most often stopped and frisked ? support the practice in some form. Two-thirds of black voters think it should remain, but nearly as many, 60%, want it modified. Only 7% of blacks and 14% of Latino voters would leave it unchanged.

      Hopefully de Blasio will be too lazy to to keep it going.

      1. Most of the Raging Grannies that I’ve talked to in NYC favor it. Check out their Wikipedia entry, , verify their crunchy granola status, and marvel at how even such types can be so authoritarian.

  3. And that’s probably about the only good thing de Blasio will do as mayor.

    1. My sentiments exactly. Still, I’ll take a win when it comes.

  4. I am a little confused. Stop ‘n Frisk will continue? Are the body cameras the only thing changing? Please oh please let DeBlasio be good for something.

    1. It will continue, but supposedly only be used when there is actually evidence that justifies it. We’ll see if that happens.

      1. Unfortunately, based on the arguments put forth by the Bloomberg dynasty, they all had evidence that justified it. Furtive movements… body language, suspicious bulges in pants and jackets.

        Again, this falls under the rubric of “compelling government interest”. When the government swears off a contentious activity… except when there’s a “compelling government interest”, that means they’re not swearing off the activity at all. It shall continue apace, but with a smidge more paperwork.

        1. The court didn’t buy Bloomberg’s justification. Whether the NYPD will follow the ruling is another story

          1. I understand that, but the Bloomberg dynasty said they were justified. So from my reading, all the Newberg dynasty has to do us provide a smidge more paperwork justifying the New And Improved Stop And Frisk(tm).

            All the supreme court really did (IMHO which might be inaccurate I’m willing to admit) is raise the bar a little bit.

            time will tell.

          2. I guess what I’m really trying to say is, I’m curious to see how creative the NYPD gets to justify SnF encounters from here on out.

      2. They need reasonable suspicion.

        the Supreme Court has said is permitted under the Fourth Amendment when police reasonably suspect someone is involved in criminal activity and (for the pat-down) that he is armed.

        This is wrong on so many levels.

        First and foremost that being armed could be considered a crime.

        1. Not that it’s supposed to be considered a crime, just that he might be uncooperative and hence dangerous to the police.

  5. Three quarters of a millions SnFs in a single year. Three quarters of a million… WOW…

    1. What’s that, like 1 in 10 New Yorkers got frisked in a year.

    2. Yeah, but to be fair to the pigs, it was only about 80 suspicious looking dudes and 20 hot chicks that actually got frisked. They just frisked them a lot.

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  7. Fucking New Yorkers. What some people will submit themselves to for the illusion of safety.

    1. Don Lemon proposed the choice: Would you rather be politically correct, or safe?

  8. without stop and frisk these niggas going to go buck wild…only the NYPD can stop the decline

  9. I heard about this on NPR on the ride home.

    It was all “Crime is going to go through the roof causing the sky to fall!”

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