Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-09-13

Federal Judge Blocks NY Stop-and-Frisks Without Suspicion

On Tuesday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Bronx Trespass Affidavit Program's (TAP) "stop-and-frisk" practices when performed without reasonable suspicion.

Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Federal Court District of Manhattan ruled that aspects of the stop-and-frisks used by the New York Police Department were unconstitutional because officers were stopping individuals outside of residential buildings without sufficient suspicion that they were trespassing. Scheindlin also issued an injunction against stop-and-frisks by officers unless there is substantial evidence that an individual is trespassing. She is also considering ordering the NYPD to adopt a written policy that defines the limited cases in which an individual may be stopped as part of TAP.

"While it may be difficult to say where, precisely, to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters, such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops" Scheindlin wrote in her decision. "The evidence of numerous unlawful stops at the hearing strengthens the conclusion that the NYPD's inaccurate training has taught officers the following lesson: stop and question first, develop suspicions later."

As part of the TAP program, property managers authorized the NYPD to patrol inside residential buildings and arrest those they find trespassing. However, Judge Scheindlin found that officers were frisking individuals that were only seen entering or leaving the building even if the individuals were guests or residents who did not have their identification.

"For those of us who do not fear being stopped as we approach or leave our own homes or those of our friends and families, it is difficult to believe that residents of one of our boroughs live under such a threat. In light of the evidence presented at the hearing, however, I am compelled to conclude that this [is unconstitutional]," concluded Scheindlin.

Media Resources: Businessweek 1/8/2013; Huffington Post 1/8/2013; New York Times 1/8/2013; Wall Street Journal 1/8/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/20/2014 Transgender Day of Remembrance Raises Awareness of Dangers of Transphobia - Transgender people are about 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than cisgender people. . . .
 
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations. Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .