New York City said a U.S. judge’s decision declaring the police department’s stop-and-frisk search tactic unconstitutional will jeopardize safety, echoing a debate that has been a focal point in the campaign to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The city today asked a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in Manhattan to delay implementation of the September ruling by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin while the court considers its appeal.
The decision is “deeply flawed” and the city will suffer “irreparable harm,” without a delay, said Celeste Koeleveld, a lawyer with the city’s corporation counsel’s office.
“Disruption will continue to mount, jeopardizing officer safety and putting the people of this city at risk of increased crime,” the city said in a brief filed with the appeals court.
Bill de Blasio, who won the Democratic nomination for mayor after opposing stop-and-frisk, aired a campaign commercial in which his 15-year-old mixed-race son, Dante, praised his father as the candidate most likely to curb stop-and-frisk, before revealing that the candidate is his dad.
Joe Lhota, the Republican nominee, ran a campaign ad warning that de Blasio’s “recklessly dangerous agenda on crime” would reverse gains in safety and return the city to its crime-ridden past.
The lawsuit against New York City was filed in 2008 by four black men alleging they had been stopped and questioned or frisked by police without reasonable suspicion in violation of their constitutional rights.
Scheindlin issued rulings in two cases after overseeing a nine-week trial that ended May 20. The judge found that police unlawfully targeted black and Latino men. She appointed an independent monitor and a panel of outside academic advisors to oversee police reforms.
The city asked the appeals court to put Scheindlin’s ruling on hold after Scheindlin denied the city’s request for a stay.
U.S. Circuit Judge Jose Cabranes questioned Koeleveld about the city’s “glacial pace” in seeking court review.
“It seems to me, that if you acted with real urgency at some points, you could have been before the court asking for a stay a long time ago,” Cabranes said.
The mayor said after the rulings Aug. 12 that the city benefited from the policy and that the judge “ignored the real- world realities of crime.”
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