The legal battle over stop and frisk took yet another turn last Thursday when five police unions filed motions to intervene in the federal lawsuit against the city that prompted a judge to order new oversight of the New York Police Department.
Working together, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the unions representing police detectives, lieutenants and captains filed a motion to intervene in the case, Floyd v. City of New York, which resulted in the appointment of an attorney to monitor the NYPD and an order that officers in one precinct in each borough must wear miniature cameras on their uniforms to record interactions with suspects. The judge in the case had found stop and frisk to be unconstitutional because it unfairly targets minorities and constitutes unreasonable search and seizure.
The sergeants’ union filed similar papers separately, and also filed a notice of appeal of the ruling, which the city is already appealing.
The unions claim they should have standing in the case because the ruling “may adversely impact” their members’ safety and ability to exercise their responsibilities, along with their “collective bargaining and other rights,” in the words of PBA President Patrick Lynch.
The city has also gone to court to fight one of two NYPD oversight laws recently passed by the City Council over the mayor’s vetoes.
To help small business owners better understand the Affordable Care Act and how to enroll for health insurance, LaGuardia Community College is providing free group presentations on the law.
A trained advisor from the College’s Small Business Assistance Program is covering such topics as insurance options, costs, tax credits, enrollment and dispute resolution.
Remaining sessions will be held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, Oct. 8, Oct. 15 and Oct. 29 in room B-A02, at 30-20 Thomson Ave. in Long Island City.
Those who wish to attend should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 482-5493 to RSVP.
An upstate company called Wolfpack Tobacco has been ordered to stop selling and shipping untaxed cigarettes within the state, as part of a federal lawsuit brought by the city.
The court agreed with the city that selling illegal, untaxed cigarettes puts legitimate businesses at a disadvantage, robs the city of revenue and increases the chances that more people will smoke. The city says it has lost $1.5 million in tax revenue due to Wolfpack since 2009.
The company claimed it did not know that cigarettes manufactured on Indian reservations are subject to taxes, an argument the court rejected. The ruling was announced Sept. 12.
Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced that the governor has signed his bill that further curbs the use of bath salts by adding new compounds used to make these types of drugs to the state’s banned substances list. The legislation classifies these compounds as Schedule I stimulant controlled substances and imposes criminal penalties on those who sell, use or possess these drugs.
A law enforcement grant program named for a police officer killed in Queens will add $4 million to the city’s crime-fighting coffers, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently announced. The federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funding will go toward anticrime initiatives run by the city’s district attorneys. Byrne was the rookie cop assassinated in Jamaica in 1988 while guarding a witness who was going to testify against drug dealers.