FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: CJ Frogozo, firstname.lastname@example.org, 310 570 2622
Tim Rusch, email@example.com, (917) 399-0236
New York, NY — New York-- Following the two-month Floyd v. City of New York trial over the New York Police Department's (NYPD) use of the discriminatory Stop and Frisk policing tactic, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin today ruled that Stop and Frisk violated the rights of New Yorkers. In her 195-page decision, Judge Scheindlin found that officers routinely disregarded the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment by subjecting tens of thousands of New Yorkers to searches without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. In response to this decision, Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online civil rights organization and longtime critic of Stop and Frisk, issued the following statement:
“For more than a year, thousands of ColorOfChange members and our partners at the Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) have demanded an end to the discriminatory Stop and Frisk policing tactic, which targets Black and Brown New Yorkers and subjects them to deeply humiliating, and unwarranted stops. As a result, our partners at the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a class action suit arguing that the policing tactic violates the constitution through its use of racial profiling and suspicionless stops.
“Over the last decade under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, police logged more than 5 million street stops of mostly Black and Latino residents. Despite New Yorkers’ surging opposition to Stop and Frisk, Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg have continued to defend the discriminatory policing tactic with false claims about its effectiveness fighting crime. In reality, 88% of folks stopped are innocent of any wrongdoing and weapons are only recovered in less than 2 percent of stops.
“Fortunately, Stop and Frisk is now coming under the legal scrutiny it deserves. Judge Scheindlin plans to designate an independent lawyer, Peter Zimroth, to provide oversight of the NYPD's compliance with the Constitution. This is the second major blow to the Bloomberg administration’s discriminatory racial profiling in recent weeks. Just last week, the City was forced to settle a separate lawsuit filed by our partners at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) by agreeing to erase the names of those stopped, but not arrested, from an NYPD database.
“This monumental court decision can only go so far in reshaping the culture of the NYPD. That's why, working closely with community-based partners, we’ve launched CopWatchNYC.org, a mobile-friendly website that empowers New Yorkers to safely and lawfully observe, record and report police officers engaged in abusive or unprofessional behavior or discrimination. Please help us build on this critical victory in the movement for police accountability by joining Cop Watch NYC today.”
With more than 850,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest online civil rights organization.