City moves toward agreement in stop-and-frisk lawsuit
Mayor Bill de Blasio moved Thursday to withdraw the city’s appeal of a federal ruling that declared the police department’s use of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional.
Stop-and-frisk reforms ordered by Judge Shira Scheindlin in that ruling would be carried out under an agreement between the city and civil rights lawyers who challenged the practice.
“We’re here today to turn the page on one of the most divisive problems in our city,” de Blasio said. “We believe in ending the overuse of stop-and-frisk that has unfairly targeted young African-American and Latino men.”
The announcement was made in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a neighborhood that has recorded one of the highest concentrations of stop-and-frisks in the past.
“We will not break the law to enforce the law,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, echoing the mayor’s vow.
The de Blasio administration asked in a court filing that an appeal to Scheindlin’s ruling, filed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year, be put on hold so that the case can be officially settled.
Should the Court of Appeals decide to remand the case to a lower court, the city will move to withdraw the appeal and settle with plaintiffs.
Under an agreement with plaintiffs, a court-appointed monitor will serve three years to oversee the NYPD’s reform of stop-and-frisk policies.
If the city’s request to hold the appeal is granted, a lower court judge who was appointed to replace Scheindlin on the case will have to approve a settlement.
The city’s police unions, who remain wary of how the remedies will affect their members, will be able to weigh in before the settlement is approved.
Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @annaesanders