Stop-and-Frisk Appeal Withdrawn; Court Rejects Union Intervention
- New York 10/31/2014 (CCR)

Reform Process Finally to Begin

Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted the City of New York’s request to withdraw its appeal of Floyd v. City of New York, the landmark stop-and-frisk class action lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel Beldock, Levine & Hoffman LLP and Covington & Burling LLP that found the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional and racially discriminatory.  The Second Circuit simultaneously denied a request by the police unions to intervene in Floyd in order to continue the appeal following the City’s withdrawal, and lifted the stay of the court-ordered reforms that had been in place since October 31, 2014 preventing them from moving forward.  Union leaders had sought to overturn the district court’s orders finding the City’s stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional and requiring comprehensive reforms, long after the de Blasio Administration accepted the court’s rulings and sought to withdraw its appeal.  Many rank and file union members indicated the leadership did not represent their interests on this issue.  In July, District Judge Analisa Torres rejected the unions’ initial request to intervene in the case.

“Today’s ruling confirms the unions cannot claim they are harmed by court orders simply requiring them to comply with the Constitution.  Now, after the unions’ unnecessary obstructionism, all New Yorkers can work together to end racially discriminatory policing and bring meaningful reform and accountability to the NYPD,” said CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy. 

On August 12, 2013, a federal court found the New York City Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional.  In a 198-page ruling, following a 10-week trial, Judge Shira Scheindlin found that the NYPD’s practices violate New Yorkers’ Fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and that the practices were racially discriminatory in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Said Co-counsel Jonathan Moore, “The Court correctly held that unions have no real interest in this case and that the City’s decision to abide by a court order and the will of the people should be respected.  We look forward to working with the City and a variety of invited stakeholders – including the Unions – to craft substantive remedies to decades of unconstitutional policing.”

Floyd was filed in 2008 and stems from an earlier Center for Constitutional Rights racial profiling case, Daniels et al. v. City of New York, et al., which led to the disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit of the NYPD.  Daniels was filed in the wake of the Amadou Diallo shooting, which marked its 15th anniversary in February.

Read today’s ruling here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change. 

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