Lawyers from the U.S. Department of Justice believe an independent adviser should be put in place to oversee changes to the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk tactics.
The Justice Department said that this will only be established if New York Judge Shira Sheindlin finds civil rights violations in the case challenging the controversial tactic. The stop-and-frisk trial ended in May and Sheindlin is currently deciding the future of the NYPD procedure.
The department released a 21-page statement of interest to assist the judge in reforming stop and frisk if it is deemed unconstitutional. They expressed having established reform to "police misconduct in law enforcement agencies nationwide." They also provided the judge examples of those cases.
The U.S. Department of Justice has not stated whether they believe stop and frisk is unconstitutional.
The Associated Press reports:
"The department has extensive experience working to ensure that police services are delivered in an effective, constitutional manner," the Justice Department said in a statement following the court filing. "Our statement of interest is intended to share our experience relevant to fashioning an appropriate remedy, should it be required."
U.S. District Court Judge Shira Sheindlin is considering whether to order reforms to the police policy after a 10-week bench trial in which a dozen people testified that they were stopped by police solely because of their race.
About 5 million people have been stopped by New York police in the past decade, most of them Black and Hispanic men. Lawyers for the four men who sued say hundreds of thousands of those stops were unconstitutional, and they want a monitor to oversee changes to police department training, supervision and policy.
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