Stop-and-Frisk Gets Potential Big Boost in Court Ruling
Federal panel puts changes on hold, rebukes judge who demanded them
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 6:14 PM CDT
US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin is interviewed in her federal court chambers in New York in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – Supporters of the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk strategy have reason to cheer tonight after a new appeals court ruling. The federal court rebuked the judge who declared the policy to be unconstitutional in August and ordered that the reforms she put in place be suspended, reports the New York Post. The court also, in what the New York Times calls "strikingly personal terms," removed Judge Shira Scheindlin from the case. Essentially, the appeals court found her to be biased from the get-go against stop-and-frisk and declared that she "ran afoul" of the code of conduct for judges. (Interviews she gave during the trial didn't help, reports AP.)

One thing the court did not do, however, was rule on whether it considered stop-and-frisk to be unconstitutional. That won't be decided until next year, but now Scheindlin's changes won't go into effect in the interim. Among other things, she ordered an independent monitor to oversee the program to make sure that the civil liberties of minorities were protected, and she began a pilot program to have officers wear body cameras to record their stops. Those and another changes are now suspended.

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Showing 3 of 41 comments
Nov 19, 2013 8:47 PM CST
Apparently you're not required to know the constitution in the Federal appeals or state level judges. If they had read the constitution they would have read a little paragraph that says the authorities CANNOT search our person or personal property. If they had read it they would have discovered the 4th amendment protects us from stop and frisk programs unless they have a court issued warrant, or the accused's permission, or if LE sees a crime being perpetrated. Putin must be proud to have a baby Marxist/Socialist country sprouting in his garden.
Nov 3, 2013 11:57 AM CST
Stop & frisk, in addition to being unconstitutional, is a monumental waste of time. 88% of those stopped are completely innocent of wrong doing, only 1% have a weapon of any kind & > 1% have a firearm. Meanwhile victims of serious crime are ignored while NYPD officers make their heavy summons quotas through stop & frisk. They will descend upon a public pot smoker ($1500 fine) but completely ignore the meth lab. There have been no indoor drug busts in my area in 12 years, yet pot smokers are routinely targeted. There are storefronts in my area selling cocaine, heroin & crystal meth which have been in operation for almost a decade, unsullied by NYPD. Bloomberg is one of the wealthiest people in the U.S. who uses his vast wealth to corrupt others to forward his agenda. I wouldn't be surprised if that weren't the case here. This ruling stinks in more ways than one.
Nov 1, 2013 3:13 PM CDT
My understanding is that under Ohio v. Terry, a police officer has to have a reasonable suspicion both that the person they pat down is doing something illegal AND that the person is armed. And they can only pat down the outer clothing. Have police always been careful to observe these restrictions? No. I think courts need to be careful to enforce those restrictions. In theory, though, I understand the rationale of Terry. There are lots of situations where a cop knows something is going down and can see someone is armed and needs to be able to take action to protect himself/herself.