A federal judge turned down a request by the administration of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to delay the impact of a decision that found the city’s stop-and-frisk program during an appeal.
United States District Judge Shira Scheindlin denied a request from the mayor to delay the appointment of a monitor to oversee the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program. The judge’s order to reform the training and monitoring of the police department will continue as initially planned.
“A stay of this court’s orders would encourage the NYPD to return to its former practice of conducting thousands upon thousands of improper stops — including those based merely on a person entering or exiting a building in which he or she resides,” Scheindlin said in her opinion.
Bloomberg has been a staunch defender of the stop and frisk program, a controversial initiative that has led to hundreds of thousands of young Black and Latino New Yorkers each year. The mayor has maintained that it has been an important took in fighting crime in New York.
But the program has been harshly condemned by many elected officials and civic groups and it has played a major role in the current mayoral campaign to succeed Bloomberg as mayor.
The decision drew praise from several elected officials and community groups.
Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate and the Democratic nominee for mayor, said he was pleased with the judge's decision.
"We need a strong enforceable ban on racial profiling and all forms of biased based policing," de Blasio said, in a statement. "As Mayor I will withdraw this lawsuit and finally bring this stop and frisk era to an end.”
“We applaud the court’s decision to insist on carrying out justice for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have had their rights violated over the defiance of the Bloomberg administration,” said Joo-Hyun Kang, a spokeswoman for Communities United for Police Reform, a community-based group.
“Mayor Bloomberg would be wise to drop his continued challenges to reforms that nearly all New Yorkers understand are necessary to move our city forward.”
The lawyers for the city said they will press for a quick appeal.
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(Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)