James: Ruling in Bronx Stop-and-Frisk Case a "Major Win"

Federal judge ruled that the NYPD’s stopping individuals suspected of trespassing outside Bronx private building unconstitutional.


Councilwoman Letitia James, D-35, praised a federal judge's ruling Tuesday that the New York Police Department can no longer implement "stop-and-frisk" outside a private Bronx apartment building, calling the order "a major win for those critical of the department’s stop-and-frisk policy." 

A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday ordered the New York Police Department to halt a controversial stop-and-frisk tactic outside a privately owned Bronx apartment building without first having reasonable suspicion, saying the method had crossed the bounds of what could be considered constitutional.

Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in Ligon v. the City of New York that reasonable suspicion of trespassing was necessary for such arrests, and acknowledged that the NYPD must determine where to draw the sometimes-ambiguous line between justified and unjustified stops.

However, Scheindlin noted it was unfair for residents and their guests of the building to experience regular, unjustified police stops.

The court’s decision requires that the NYPD create a formal policy that specifies the circumstances in which it is legal to stop a person outside a Trespass Affidavit Program building on a suspicion of trespass. Developed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the Trespass Affidavit Program's goal is to seek out trespassers and arrest them on-sight in the interest of public safety.

"It is imperative that the administration and the police department move to make transparent the rationale for street stops, as well as define long-used terms such as ‘furtive movements’," James said in a statement. "The dignity of low-income and minority New Yorkers has— for too long— been considered expendable in exchange for some unproven, unexamined theoretical degree of safety. These practices will continue to undergo legal challenge.”

Ligon v. the City of New York is one of three cases regarding stop-and-frisk before the Manhattan judge.

Joe Gonzalez January 09, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Dear Tish James: We the People want you to pay attention to the ethnic cleansing of Fulton Street and Myrtle Avenue by FAB and MARP--both of which are groups that YOU provide political support and public funds to. We the people will NOT support YOUR impending effort to be elected to the Office of NYC Public Advocate UNLESS YOU wake up and take stock of these two pet groups of yours (read: FAB and MARP).
Waverly Wonder January 09, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Joe- you is a person, you ain't no "people," unless you is referring to the many characters who lives in yur brain. Furthermore you is doing the whyte mans bidding coz odder peeple of all colorations be thinking you is a little off.
Joe Gonzalez January 09, 2013 at 03:01 PM
@ Waverly Wonder: We the People are the first three words in the United States Constitution--go read the document. For the first one hundred years of our Nation, politicans often started their public statements by the phase "We the People". The idea then was to speak for the regular folks.


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