NYC mayor aims to halt stop-and-frisk appeal

BY Elisabeth Ponsot  January 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM EST

Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration filed court papers Thursday to drop a city appeal of a judge’s order for major reforms of the New York City Police Department’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

The papers were filed in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

Last year, a federal district court judge ruled that police officers in New York City have for years been unfairly stopping young minority men without reasonable suspicion that those men were doing anything wrong.

Judge Shira Scheindlin said New York’s stop and frisk policy violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure and was a form of racial profiling.

“No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life,” the judge wrote.

Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg appealed the court’s decision.

“Every day, Commissioner Kelly and I wake up determined to keep New Yorkers safe and save lives. And our crime strategies and tools, including stop, question, frisk, have made New York City the safest big city in America,” Bloomberg said last year.

Although the de Blasio administration has moved to drop the appeal Bloomberg initiated, police unions are “seeking to intervene and carry on the appeal,” the AP reports.

How do the people of NYC feel about this police policy? NewsHour Weekend correspondent William Brangham spoke with New Yorkers who support the tactic, as well as citizens who have been targeted by the program who say it’s a form of harassment.