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Gotham Gazette

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Citizens Union

The Eye-Opener

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The New York Police Department’s practice of stop-and-frisk violated constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, a judge ruled yesterday in a decision that included a call for a court-assigned independent monitor to oversee several reforms.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose administration has aggressively defended the practice as necessary to keep crime at historic lows, called the decision “very dangerous.”

"We believe we have done exactly what the courts allow and what the Constitution allows us to do,” he said.

He promised to appeal the decision — but the legal fight will likely outlast his stewardship of the city and will be left to his successor. Democratic candidates for mayor largely said they would abide by the court’s decision. Republican candidates called on the Bloomberg administration to fight it.

In her decision, federal judge Shira Scheindlin found that the city’s stop-and-frisk relied on “indirect racial profiling” by targeting minority communities and that officers stopped “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white.” She said the practice violated the Fourth Amendment, as well as the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

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Mayoral candidates Christine Quinn and Anthony Weiner are winning the money race against their opponents in the crowded field for the Democratic nomination. With about a month to go before the Sept. 10 primary, new numbers filed with the city's Campaign Finance Board show the financial strength of candidates for citywide office. Quinn has $8.6 million; Weiner has $6.2 million. Weiner saw his fundraising lag following revelations that the married former congressman's habit of lewd online exchanges with women continued even after he had resigned from Congress for the same behavior.

In the comptroller's race, filings with the city show that ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer spent over $2.5 million -- including over $270,000 on petitioning to get on the ballot -- since announcing his bid for the seat in July. He put $3.7 million of his own funds into the race. His opponent in the Democratic primary, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, has $4.6 million on hand.

Other Stories We're Following

Environmentalist Says State Agency Has Been Muzzled Over Tappan Zee Plans (Albany Times Union)

Politicians' New Financial Disclosures Prompt More Questions (Associated Press)

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The U.S. Justice Department will probe whether the civil rights of a black teen were violated when he was shot and killed by a police officer last year. A Bronx grand jury declined to charge the cop with manslaughter on Wednesday. The boy's family was unable to obtain a special prosecutor for the case. The officer had previously been indicted by another jury. That decision was overturned by a judge who said the jury should take into account that another officer said the teen was armed. The cop gave an emotional and precise testimony this time, as opposed to the last one where he appeared nervous. The teen was shot in his own home and no gun was found, only a small bag of marijuana. The officer also still faces a disciplinary review by the Police Department.

DON'T MISS: THIS WEEK IN GOTHAM GAZETTE

Policy Dreamin' At Manhattan BP Debate: All of them think Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Midtown East rezoning plan is moving much too fast. All of them concede they are willing to revisit the City Charter to improve land use procedures. They all want to diversify their appointments. And they want to connect the limited powers of the office they are seeking to a wider breadth of pressing issues. By Chester Soria. 

Op-Ed: Preservation Can Contribute To Affordability by Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

GothamVotes: A Conversation With Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn by Chester Soria

PLUS: Don't forget to check our site devoted to the historic 2013 elections: GothamVotes2013.com

Other Stories We're Following

Silver Subpoenaed In New Sexual Harassment Suit (NY Post)

State Lags On Firing Workers Who Abuse Disabled Patients (NY Times)

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The state ethics commission has opened a new investigation into a sexual harassment complaint against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, news organizations are reporting. The complaint stems from 2009 and was kept quiet at the time by a top Assembly lawyer. The lawyer has been dismissed since The New York Times initially reported about the case back in July. "After four years, I’m glad that this is finally being looked at,” said Eliyanna Kaiser, a former chief of staff for Kellner who took the complaint to the Assembly's central staff, in the Times. The Daily Newswrites that the new investigation could further threaten Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's leadership. Kellner, who is running for City Council, has apologized for his behavior. He also said he welcomes the investigation and would cooperate with it.

 


Other Stories We're Following

Why Is Voter Turnout So Low In The Bronx? (WNYC)

NYC Agrees To Scale Back Aspect Of Police Stops (NY Times)

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s legacy on education is facing new scrutiny as the state prepares to release new test scores later today that are expected to be significantly lower than in previous years.

Over the weekend, the city acknowledged there would be a dramatic decline in this year’s test scores due to new Common Core standard — with Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott predicting a 30 percent drop.

Bloomberg has pinned his reputation, in part, on his success at being the education mayor.

Democratic candidates hoping to be the next mayor have taken the release of the new test scores as an opportunity to criticize Bloomberg.

“The current administration has forced teachers to implement new standards without giving them the curriculum they need to do it successfully,” said Bill Thompson, a former Board of Education president who has been endorsed by the United Federation of Teachers.

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