Judge Grants Stop-and-Frisk Lawsuit Class Action Status
Finding the city’s attitude “deeply troubling,” a judge granted class action status Wednesday to a 2008 lawsuit accusing the NYPD of discriminating against blacks and Latino with its stop-and-frisk policies aimed at reducing crime.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan said in a written ruling that there was “overwhelming evidence” that a centralized stop-and-frisk program has led to thousands of unlawful stops. She noted that the vast majority of New Yorkers who are unlawfully stopped will never file a lawsuit in response, and she said class-action status was created for just these kinds of court cases.
The lawsuit alleged that the police department purposefully engaged in a widespread practice of concentrating its stop-and-frisk activity on black and Latino neighborhoods based on their racial composition rather than legitimate non-racial factors. The lawsuit said officers are pressured to meet quotas as part of the program and they are punished if they do not.