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.