New York Daily News

August 13, 2013


Stop-and-frisk ruling: Officials, activists react to decision imposing monitor on NYPD 

After Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled the NYPD’s use of the policy violated rights, politicians and activists, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, Christine Quinn, Anthony Weiner, Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson have weighed in, largely criticizing the controversial policy.


City officials, civil rights leaders and politicians react Monday to a verdict by U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin in a key civil rights case that challenged a controversial police tactic known as stop-and-frisk. Scheindlin said she was not putting an end to the policy but reforming it by appointing a federal monitor to oversee major changes to how the NYPD applies the crime-fighting tactic.

“This is a groundbreaking victory....We hope that Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly will heed this decision and end their crude and abusive policy. We will continue to stand up with the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who marched with us last June and fight for the protections of the Community Safety Act.”
— Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP

“Quotas for police activities like summonses and stop, question and frisks are a direct result of inadequate funding of the NYPD and understaffing in local precincts. ... Monitors, facilitators and public hearings, which will cost this city millions of dollars, will do nothing more than make the toughest policing job in the world even more difficult and dangerous. The effect of the decision will be to divert valuable public funds and scarce resources from policing, which could be used to hire more police officers, addressing the very problem this unwieldy judicially created regime is designed to address.”
— Patrick Lynch, PBA union head

“Today is a victory for all New Yorkers. After more than 5 million stops conducted under the current administration, hundreds of thousands of them illegal and discriminatory, the NYPD has finally been held accountable. It is time for the city to stop denying the problem and work with the community to fix it.”
— Center for Constitutional Rights, lead attorneys in the class action suit challenging stop-and-frisk.

“The decision on stop-and-frisk is a huge victory for those of us that have marched and fought against it for years saying it is a violation of our constitutional and civil rights. The Bloomberg Administration should immediately cease and desist the stop-and-frisk policy.”
— The Rev. Al Sharpton

“As I have said, the present stop and frisk policy violates the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers, but especially innocent blacks and Latinos. Instead of treating our police and people with respect, the Mayor and Commissioner Kelly have imposed what are effectively quotas on the police and treated entire minority communities with suspicion... I will uphold the law and work with the Federal monitor to make sure New Yorkers never have to choose between their constitutional rights and their safety. ."
— Bill Thompson, Democratic mayoral candidate.

“The courts have just affirmed facts that too many New Yorkers know to be true: under the Bloomberg Administration, with the acquiescence of Speaker Quinn, millions of innocent New Yorkers — overwhelmingly young men of color — have been illegally stopped... We must override Mayor Bloomberg's vetoes of legislation to ban racial profiling and to create an independent inspector general for the NYPD.”
— Bill de Blasio, Democratic mayoral candidate

 “The judge's call for reforms must be heeded, and — longer term — the tactic should be abolished. It's time to put an end to stop and frisk once and for all.”
— John Liu, Democratic mayoral candidate.

 “At the height of this program, some 700,000 New Yorkers have been stopped with the overwhelming number resulting in no arrest or seizing of contraband, that's why the City needs -and I passed -and Inspector General for the NYPD. The NYPD Inspector General will help review and provide guidance to ensure that stop and frisk is done in a constitutionally sound manner that focuses on the quality of the stops, not the quantity. And as mayor, I intend to work with the federal monitor to help ensure these stops come down dramatically so that we can build stronger relationships between our communities of color and our police force.”
— Christine Quinn, Democratic mayoral candidate

“When the police stop tens of thousands of citizens who have done nothing wrong — the overwhelming number being young men of color — basic civil rights are being violated. I would hope that the court considers withholding judgment on the need for a federal monitor until after a new mayor and police commissioner are in place in January. Last week, I laid out a plan for correcting the abuses of stop and frisk. We must include invalid stops in regular CompStat reports. We should outfit police officers with lapel cameras to record interactions. And we should adopt a policy of focused deterrence that works to target known criminals rather than whole communities.”
— Anthony Weiner, Democratic mayoral candidate

“Stop, question, and frisk is an effective program which has saved the lives of thousands of New Yorkers and keeps our streets safe. We have a chain of command in the NYPD, and a system in place to investigate the actions taken by police officers if they violate the law. Having the Justice Department install a monitor to look over our Finest will do nothing to increase public safety, and only act as a deterrent on our police officers to effectively do their jobs.”
— State Sen. Marty Golden, R-Brooklyn

“Stop and frisk is a legal police tool that keeps our city safe when it is used properly. There was never any doubt that the city was casting too wide of a net and focusing on quantity rather than quality when numbers peaked in 2011. Since then, the NYPD has moved in the right direction by training officers better and reducing unnecessary stops. This ruling will accelerate that process. ”
— Sal Albanese, Democratic mayoral candidate

“ The appointment of a federal monitor to oversee necessary changes is a welcome next step for our city, but it is little comfort to the young people that have already felt the shame of being stopped and frisked in public and made to feel like criminals. ... Our city and state government must take ownership of this civil liberties abuse, and enact legislative changes without relying on Washington.”
— State. Sen. Adriano Espaillat, D— Washington Heights

"Stop and frisk is an unjustified police tactic and unconscionable form of racial profiling. A court has now confirmed it to be an unconstitutional violation of the rights of innocent, law-abiding New Yorkers. The Mayor and Police Commissioner should stop their blind defense of these blatantly unfair police encounters and begin to respect the rights of everyone regardless of color."
— U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-Brooklyn

 “I believe that with the federal monitor in place, the NYPD can continue to carry out its effective crime fighting — which must be praised for its success in recent years — but without using this tactic. In fact, they may experience improved community relations because they are alienating fewer people, which leads to better crime fighting through tips and cooperation .. . this is a big step forward for our city.”
— U.S. Rep. Jose Serrano, D-Bronx

“It's unfortunate that it took a lawsuit and a federal court order to safeguard the fundamental, and constitutionally protected, right to be free from unwarranted police harassment. Racial profiling and other discriminatory policies have no place in our great city or our great country.”
— U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-Manhattan and Brooklyn

“The tactic of stop-and-frisk had institutionalized the idea that African-Americans and Latinos are inherently suspicious, based entirely on the color of their skin — in violation of our Constitution. I hope that the NYPD will work with the monitor appointed by Judge Scheindlin to eliminate the practice of racial profiling. In addition, I urge the New York City Council to support the installation of an inspector general in the police department, to eliminate such practices in the future.”
— U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke D-Brooklyn

“I am hopeful that the remedies put in place by today's ruling will put an end to the discriminatory practices that have disproportionately violated the constitutional rights of thousands of minorities in New York.”
— State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx