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Accountability?

Judge approves class action lawsuit over NYPD’s stop-and-frisk searches

A judge’s ruling Wednesday on a request to authorize a class action lawsuit over the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) use of “stop-and-frisk” searches could see more than 1 million people line up to file claims against the department for violating their constitutional rights.

While it’s not likely to attract that many plaintiffs, people who were illegally searched in New York City any time after January 5, 2005 are eligible to join the lawsuit. […]

“The Court has rightly recognized that illegal stops-and-frisks are not limited to a few rogue police officers but are the product of a program designed at the highest level of the police department and affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of New Yorkers,” Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Darius Charney explained in a prepared statement. “As a result of today’s ruling, all those for whom this practice is a daily reality will now have an opportunity to challenge it as a violation of their fundamental constitutional rights and to ask the Court to order real changes in NYPD stop-and-frisk policy.”

Of course, assuming that the lawsuit is successful, it’s the taxpayers who pay and the lawyers to get paid, but still, it has a chance to force change in a department (and Mayor) who clearly are uninterested in considering the existence of Fourth Amendment rights for brown (or poor) people.

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3 comments to Accountability?

  • FedUp119

    I’m assuming 2005 is a statute of limitations sort of thing. I’m glad that a district judge is willing to give the fourth it’s day in court. I’m almost afraid of this getting appealed to the SCOTUS in this day in age, but if the citizens in NY/NYC can have their rights restored, more power to them.

    It would be nice if the settlement would come out of NYPD’s operating budget. Heads would roll. Cops would feel the result of their “brothers in blue”, by getting fired due to budgetary cutbacks. It might even help that thin little blue line dissolve. Good cops can be good again, instead of going with the prevalent flow. ..Sorry, meanwhile back on Earth….

    This is what happens when federal influences pervert local needs. When minor drug possession arrests are funded by the feds, but not solving violent crimes. You know, the kind with victims.

  • strayan

    As the number of people wronged by the drug war grow in number, so too does their ability to force a change and punish those responsible.

  • FedUp119

    Too bad that so many of them are the wrong color, or don’t speak the right language. Many of them are not even well versed in their rights enough to deny consent to unwarranted searches. As someone that has sworn an oath to The Constitution, this whole thing is offensive.