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City Withdraws Stop-and-Frisk Appeal; Plaintiffs Join Request

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August 6, 2014, New York – Today, the City of New York and plaintiffs jointly filed a motion with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to withdraw the City’s appeal of Floyd v. City of New YorkFloyd is the landmark stop-and-frisk class action lawsuit, filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel Beldock, Levine & Hoffman and Covington & Burling, that found the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices racially discriminatory and otherwise unconstitutional.  The joint request follows a ruling last week by Judge Analisa Torres, rejecting attempts by several police unions to intervene in the case.  Dismissal of the appeal is the last step before the joint reform process begins. 

“We are on the verge of beginning a joint reform process to curb illegal, racially-discriminatory policing and bring true accountability to the NYPD,” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Darius Charney.  “For too long, communities of color have felt under siege by the police, and young Black and Latino men have disproportionately been the target.  As soon as the court dismisses the appeal and dissolves the stay of the proceedings in the district court, community groups, faith leaders, unions, and other stakeholders can come to the table and work collaboratively to create a city in which the rights of all New Yorkers are protected.  Recent events are a painful reminder of just how urgent these reforms are.”
 
In last week’s ruling, the court ruled the unions’ request to intervene was filed years too late, given the significance and wide notoriety surrounding the case, and that, in any event, the unions have no distinct interest as a bargaining unit in the court’s finding of liability against the City or in the joint reform process ordered by the court.
 
Jonathan Moore, co-counsel in Floyd, said, “It is now time for the Police Unions, who pose the only remaining obstacle to the implementation of the desperately needed remedial process, to accept the judgment of the courts, the Administration, and thousands of New Yorkers demanding reform.  The court’s remedial process actually gives the unions a seat at the table: they should use it to become a part of the solution for the good of the entire City.”
 
On August 12, 2013, a federal court found the New York City Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional.  In a 198-page ruling following a 10-week trial, Judge Shira Scheindlin found that the NYPD’s practices violate New Yorkers’ Fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and that the practices were racially discriminatory, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  In January, CCR, co-counsel, and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an agreement that would result in the withdrawal of the City’s appeal in Floyd, filed a month before it was due by the Bloomberg administration shortly before Mr. Bloomberg left office.
 
For the remedy phase of the case, Floyd was joined with Ligon v. City of New York, brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the Bronx Defenders, and Latino Justice PRLDF.  Ligon challenges a subsection of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol many private apartment buildings throughout New York City.
 
Floyd was filed in 2008 and stems from an earlier Center for Constitutional Rights racial profiling case, Daniels et al. v. City of New York, et al., which led to the disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit of the NYPD.  Daniels was filed in the wake of the Amadou Diallo shooting, which marked its 15th anniversary in February.
 
Covington & Burling LLP and Bedlock Levine and Hoffman LLP are co-counsel in the case.
 
Read more about Floyd here. Read today’s filing here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.