BLH Fights for New Stop-and-Frisk and Racial Profiling Policies for the NYPD (Floyd v. NYC et al.)
Lawyers in the landmark stop-and-frisk case, Floyd v. City of New York, have reached agreement with the City and the court-appointed monitor on new stop-and-frisk and racial profiling policies for the NYPD. Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP attorneys have worked closely with the monitoring team and NYPD over the past nine months to develop these new policies. The policies were sent to the court today for review by Judge Analisa Torres, who is overseeing the remedial phase of the case.
“These new policies are a huge step in the right direction,” said BLH Partner Jonathan C. Moore. Mr. Moore – who has pushed for changes in the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice for over three decades – led a team of civil rights lawyers from BLH, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Covington & Burling, in challenging the NYPD’s current stop-and-frisk practices. Police stops in New York City rose to more than 680,000 stops in 2011, the vast majority of which, 87%, were stops of black and Latino people.
In August 2013, after a nine-week trial, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies and practices were unconstitutional and racially discriminatory. Judge Scheindlin appointed Peter L. Zimroth as the independent monitor to oversee the necessary reforms to these polices. She also ordered a Joint Remedial Process that will work with the affected communities and other stakeholders to develop additional reforms to ensure a lasting change in the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices.
“The new policy on investigative encounters, which replaces the NYPD’s old and ineffective stop-and-frisk policy, is a significant effort to bring the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk into compliance with the Constitution,” said BLH attorney Joshua S. Moskovitz. For the first time, the policy lays out in detail the legal constraints on an officer’s encounter with citizens. It also reflects a significant change in the supervision of these stops. The new racial profiling policy includes a blanket prohibition on racial profiling and other forms of bias-based policing. “It is important that officers will hear that this is not only the law, it is the Department’s policy,” said Mr. Moskovitz.
“Approval of these policies does not mark the end of this process,” Mr. Moore was quick to note. “There is much more work that must be done,” he said. BLH attorneys and their co-counsel will continue working with the monitoring team and the NYPD to develop additional and better training programs for implicit bias, more robust auditing mechanisms, and an effective discipline protocol to ensure that the future of policing in New York City respects the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers.
Jonathan C. Moore (212) 277-5850, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joshua S. Moskovitz (212) 277-5823, email@example.com