NYC Judge Finds Stop-and-Frisk Policy Unconstitutional
August 12, 2013 by Noël Gordon, Senior Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity
Post submitted by Noel Gordon, HRC Foundation Coordinator
In a major win for equality and justice, federal judge Shira A. Schiendlin found that New York City’s Stop-and-Frisk policy violated the constitutional rights of people of color living in New York.
In a decision spanning 193 pages, Judge Schiendlin found that New York City “adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data.” Although the ruling does not call for a complete end to stop-and-frisk, it does install a federal monitor to oversee reforms and requires the city to solicit input from the people most affected.
Schiendlin’s ruling is an important win for racial justice advocates who have long criticized New York City’s discriminatory policy. It is also a win for those disproportionately singled out by the practice, including LGBT communities, immigrants, homeless people, some religious minorities, low-income people, residents of certain neighborhoods or public housing, youth, and people with disabilities.
In fact, a 2012 report by the Center for Constitutional Rights found that “it [was] a common occurrence for people to be subjected to stop-and-frisk because of their sexuality or gender expression.”
Last year, HRC stood with NAACP President Ben Jealous, the Rev. Al Sharpton, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, SEIU 1199 President George Gresham and others to oppose the unjust policy.
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