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Queens Chronicle

Stop-and-frisk appeal notice to be filed Friday

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2013 6:04 pm | Updated: 10:53 am, Fri Aug 16, 2013.

The city will file a notice of appeal tomorrow, Aug. 16 over the stop-and-frisk ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin on Monday.

Scheindlin determined that the Police Department's use of stop and frisk is unconstitutional in that it discriminates against minorities, violating the 14th Amendment, and constitutes unreasonable search and seizure, violating the Fourth Amendment.

The judge ordered several "remedies" to reform the practice, including forcing some police officers to wear small video cameras to record interactions with suspects, and the appointment of a person to monitor the NYPD.

"As the mayor and Police Commissioner Kelly said on Monday, we strongly disagree with Judge Scheindlin's order," the city's top attorney, Michael Cardozo, said in announcing the city's plan to begin the appeal process. "We said we'd take immediate steps to appeal, and we plan to do so tomorrow by filing our notice of appeal."

The Law Department, which Cardozo leads as corporation counsel, said the notice of appeal will be a short document of maybe only one or two pages, filed electronically with the District Court. The case is a class action suit, named Floyd et. al. v. City of New York et. al.

The city maintains stop and frisk is legal, as per the 1968 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Terry v. Ohio, which determined that police may conduct such actions as long as an officer has a "reasonable suspicion" that the target may have committed a crime or be about to commit one.

The NYPD had until recently been conducting a growing number of stops, often resulting in frisks, quick searches for weapons or other contraband. The number of stops grew rapidly over 10 years, from 97,000 in 2002 to 685,000 in 2011, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union, citing Police Department data. In 2012 the number dipped to 533,000. The vast majority of people stopped are either black or Latino.

The administration contends stop and frisk is an effective crime-fighting tool that helps keep guns off the street, contributing to the city's massive reductions in violent crime.

Critics say it contributes not to reductions in crime but in reductions in trust between minority communities and the police.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a stop-and-frisk critic and candidate for mayor, issued a statement decrying the appeal on Thursday afternoon.

"The overuse and abuse of stop and frisk is driving police and communities apart instead of making our city safer," de Blasio said. "Mayor Bloomberg's decision to appeal the federal court's ruling is wrong and deeply misguided.

"I'm the only candidate committed to appointing a new police commissioner, creating an independent Inspector General (IG) for the NYPD, and passing a ban on racial profiling. As mayor, I would drop this appeal on day one, and work with the federal monitor to make necessary changes at the NYPD to promote public safety and rebuild trust between police and our communities."

Stop and frisk also prompted two police oversight bills recently passed by the City Council and vetoed by the mayor. The Council intends to override the veto Aug. 22.

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