NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio is seeking to drop the appeal filed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg that sought to protect the controversial NYPD policing tactic known as Stop-and-Frisk. A decision last year by U.S District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin found the practice routinely violated the civil rights of New Yorkers, and discriminated against black and Hispanic men. More than five million stops were made while Bloomberg was in office. The former mayor argued that the practice was in large part responsible for an undisputed and significant drop in crime, including the murder rate, during his administration. Judge Scheindlin’s decision had called for major reforms to the practice, which the Bloomberg appeal sought to forestall.
DeBlasio’s decision to drop the appeal and implement reforms makes good on a very popular campaign promise he made as a candidate. In addition to creating an atmosphere of public distrust of law enforcement, according to DeBlasio, the policy has had deleterious effects on police morale. The new mayor believes the policy, as currently implemented, overshadowed the extraordinary work the NYPD regularly performed. Vincent Warren, executive director for the Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement: “For too long, communities of color have felt under siege by the police, and young Black and Latino men have disproportionately been the target.” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton released a video indicating that stop-and-frisk reform may be just a start of a new style of police accountability, saying, “I want to focus on the quality of police actions, with less emphasis on our numbers and more emphasis on our actual impact.”
related: Reasonable Suspicion