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A troubling aspect of the practice of "stop and frisk" in New York and other cities is the evidence that this police tactic is employed predominantly against young men in racial minorities. On August 12, 2013, the federal district court ruled in Floyd v. City of New York that New York's practices and policies regarding stop and frisk violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and its Due Process Clause, which makes the Fourth Amendment ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures" applicable against the states. Judge Shira A. Scheindlin found that a number of specific stops and subsequent frisks did not meet the requirement of "reasonable suspicion" and that a careful evaluation of police records indicated that this failure was not infrequent. She also determined that "the City adopted a policy of indirect racial profiling by targeting racially defined groups for stops based on local crime suspect data." This amounted to "intentional discrimination based on race." She ordered the appointment of an independent monitor for the New York Police Department (NYPD) and required immediate changes to end constitutional violations. These included the Department's adopting formal written policies specifying the limited circumstances for justifiable stops and requiring that they be made only when based on "individualized reasonable suspicion." The Department must also improve its relevant training and supervision of officers, and institute a pilot project in which officers would wear body cameras. The order to this effect was stayed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; the newly elected mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, promised to drop the appeal and carry out the district court's instructions.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Law | Law and Race | Law Enforcement and Corrections