City, Plaintiffs Reach Accord in Stop-and-Frisk
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton announced an accord to settle stop-and-frisk litigation Thursday, vowing to follow through on reforming police department policies and to keep a court-appointed monitor on the job.
The announcement came at a press conference held at the Brownsville Recreation Center. In 2012, the 73rd Precinct had the highest percentage of stops per population of any precinct in the city.
De Blasio, Bratton and Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter pledged to pursue changes in stop-and-frisk policies found unconstitutional by Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin on Feb. 14 and Aug. 12, 2013, including her decision to appoint Peter Zimroth of Arnold & Porter as a police department monitor.
In a complete turn-around from the dogged opposition to stop-and-frisk litigation by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, de Blasio said, we "accept the facts and road map laid out" in Scheindlin's "landmark ruling" in Floyd v. City of New York, 13-3088, including her finding that stop-and-frisk policies "unfairly targeted young African-American and Latino men."
De Blasio said the monitor would be in place for three years.
Once "the agreement is ratified" by Southern District Judge Analisa Torres, de Blasio said, the Corporation Counsel would drop its appeal of Scheindlin's rulings in Floyd and a second case over policing outside of private buildings in the Bronx.
Carter, invoking Martin Luther King, said the city was reaffirming King's commitment by ensuring that "no law-abiding citizen should fear the intrusion of law enforcement simply because of the color of their skin."
He said the next three years would be spent developing "policies, procedures and training to ensure that inappropriate considerations of race will not be a determinative factor in police decision making."
The reforms that are expected to take place include improved training and training materials, oversight of officers on the street and messages on police department policies broadcast by supervisors.
Scheindlin's rulings were stayed on Oct. 31 by a three-judge motions panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which also removed her as presiding judge for giving the appearance of partiality in press interviews during trial in the Floyd case.