Stop and Frisk Updates: The Tide is Turning

Melissa stands with Martin Luther King III and other elected officials late last month in support of reform to stop and frisk practices (Photo by Sam Levin).

After intense pressure from community members, advocates and elected officials, the tide is beginning to turn on the NYPD’s stop and frisk policies.  Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that all New Yorkers who were stopped and frisked since January 2005 could join a class action suit against the NYPD over these practices.  Because of this decision, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers could potentially seek legal recourse for being stopped without suspicion of wrongdoing.

Click here to read more about the strong decision issued by Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, which cited an amicus brief submitted by the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.   The full version of the decision is also included at this link.

At today’s City Council budget hearing, Commissioner Kelly unveiled a series of reforms which he included in a letter sent to Speaker Christine Quinn this morning.  These reforms include expanded training and greater monitoring by Executive Officers at the precinct level.  While the NYPD is clearly feeling the pressure, more can still be done to truly reform the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices, expand community policing efforts, and provide much-needed independent oversight over the NYPD.  In seeking these reforms, Melissa made clear today that “we are not asking for softer policing, but smarter and more effective policing.”

Check out a brief excerpt from Melissa’s comments at today’s budget hearing below:

Stay tuned for more info, but in the meantime, please plan to join us at the Father’s Day silent march against stop and frisk that will be taking place on June 17, 2012.  More details to come!

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