Statement on “Stop-and-Frisk” Ruling
Contact: Alex Moore
amoore [at] council [dot] nyc [dot] gov
NEW YORK, NY – City Council Member Brad Lander issued the following statement in response to Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling in Floyd v. City of New York, which found the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” program unconstitutional. Judge Scheindlin appointed a federal monitor to reform the program, which “will be specifically and narrowly focused on the City’s compliance with reforming the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk.”
Together with Council Member Jumaane Williams, Lander is a lead sponsor of the Community Safety Act. Intro 1079 will improve police accountability by creating an Inspector General for the NYPD. Intro 1080 will strengthen the City’s existing ban on racial and bias-based profiling. Both bills, which were approved by veto-proof majorities of the City Council on June 27th, will go back in front of the full Council for a vote to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto on August 22nd.
“Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that the Bloomberg Administration’s stop-and-frisk tactics have violated the Constitutional rights of New Yorkers is a strong affirmation of our campaign to end discriminatory policing in New York City. Her appointment of a federal monitor is an important step toward reforming the use of stop-and-frisk.
“Next, the City Council must override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the Community Safety Act – which remains necessary, even with the appointment of a Monitor – so we can restore trust and accountability, provide better oversight of the NYPD, and end all forms of discriminatory policing.
“An NYPD Inspector General (Intro 1079) remains necessary, even with the appointment of a Monitor for stop-and-frisk. The Monitor ‘will be specifically and narrowly focused on the City’s compliance with reforming the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk.’ The Inspector General – like other IGs at the FBI, CIA, FDNY, and most other government agencies – will investigate, issue reports, and make recommendations about a wider array on ongoing concerns.
“We hope over time the NYPD IG will look into allegations of illegal use of quotas, crime statistics manipulations, violations of the rights of the press, problems with crash investigations, and understaffing or unsafe conditions in NYPD programs. If the Inspector General helps the NYPD Commissioner make changes – on a voluntary basis, based on recommendations – at a far earlier stage, then the NYPD can avoid the need for court rulings like the one today.
“We also need a stronger prohibition on racial and other bias-based profiling (Intro 1080) to protect all New Yorkers from discriminatory policing. Whether it is surveillance of Muslim residents based simply on their religion, overly aggressive policing of transgender young people, or gaping racial disparities in marijuana arrests, all New Yorkers should be protected from bias-based profiling.
“Stop-and-frisk became the problem it is because the NYPD has existed for too long without oversight or accountability. The Community Safety Act will create the framework going forward to ensure that the NYPD focuses on the programs that keep us safe and avoids those that violate the law and damage much-needed relationships between the NYPD and the communities that it serves.
“We look forward to overriding the Mayor’s vetoes on August 22nd.”