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

(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.

US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin is interviewed in her federal court chambers in New York in this file photo.
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)
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