Quinn to file court papers supporting stop-and-frisk ruling
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn will file a legal declaration this week supporting a federal court decision ordering reforms to the police department’s stop-and-frisk practice.
In August, a federal judge called for an independent monitor to oversee stop-and-frisk reforms, saying the police department used a “policy of indirect racial profiling.”
“The court’s decision, along with the inspector general bill I recently passed with my council colleagues, will go a long way to ending the unconstitutional use of stop and frisk in New York City,” Quinn said in a statement about her letter to the court.
Arguing the original decision was “rife with errors of law” and might be overturned on appeal, city lawyers asked the judge last week to freeze implementation of the ordered reforms. The city is also appealing the decision.
Quinn said Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to block the ruling was “unacceptable.”
Though city lawyers argued that the decision would make New York less safe, Quinn wrote in the letter to the court that “it is a delay in implementing important and necessary reforms — a delay that could last months or even years while an appeal is resolved — that would cause irreparable harm to the city and its residents.”
Because of mounting public opposition to stop and frisk, the practice has been thrust into the forefront of the mayoral election.
Quinn, a candidate for mayor, was criticized for filing the letter a week before the Democratic primary by the campaign for her rival, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
The letter was “a desperate attempt to distract attention from her eight-year record of standing with Mayor Bloomberg and Ray Kelly as the overuse and abuse of stop and frisk exploded,” de Blasio campaign manager Bill Hyers said in a statement.
Quinn denied to reporters that her action was politically motivated, saying the timing was based on the court’s decision and the city’s appeal.
If elected, Quinn said she would drop the appeal.
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders