New NYC Mayor De Blasio Looks To Reform Controversial Stop-And-Frisk Policy

January 31, 2014  |  

Bill de Blasio has just taken office as the new mayor of New  York but he has already taken action on one of his campaign promises–to address the controversial New York police policy of Stop-and-Frisk.

De Blasio has agreed to appoint a monitor over the tactic. He is also looking to end the 14-year court battle of Floyd, et al. v. City of New York that resulted in a judge’s ruling that the city discriminated in the crime-reduction program, reports ABC News. That case is a class-action suit brought on behalf of the minority citizens of New York City by David Floyd and David Ourlicht, who claim the NYPD stopped them without reasonable suspicion.

Floyd is an African–American man who says on February 27, 2008 while helping a neighbor enter his house, three NYPD officers approached them and proceeded to stop and frisk them. Ourlicht is of African–American and Italian ancestry and claims that in 2008 while sitting on a bench with an African–American male friend outside a public housing complex in Harlem two uniformed police officers approached, drew their weapons and ordered them on the ground. Ourlicht was patted down.

“We believe these steps will make everyone safer,” Mayor de Blasio said at a news conference shortly after NYC lawyers requested the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to return the case to the lower court “for the purpose of exploring a full resolution.”

Last year, a judge found the NYPD had discriminated against blacks and Hispanics during stop-and-frisks and ordered major reforms to the  policy. The decision was appealed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Police Commissioner William Bratton seems to be in agreement. He said the policy had too many people who, after being frisked, questioned, “Why, why me?” while police officers have been pressured to make more arrests even though crime rates had fallen.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network said they support the city’s decision that will lead to the resolution of Floyd, et al. v. City of New York. They were joined by Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine, who released a statement saying the decision “represents one of the most critical steps taken by a governmental entity to end racial discrimination in policing in US history.”

And praised the decision, adding in a statement from executive director Rashad Robinson, “New York City has long influenced national conversation around policing strategies, which makes today’s news a particularly incredible step in the right direction.

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