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Federal court ruling allows NYC to implement stop-and-frisk reforms

The New York City Police Department is free to begin implementing reforms to its stop-and-frisk policy, following a federal court ruling Friday.

“We hold that the police unions’ motions to intervene are untimely and do not assert an interest that the law seeks to protect,” said a three-judge panel in its ruling on an appeal of Floyd v. City of New York.

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York and other police unions filed the motions as a way to breathe new life into an appeal originally filed by the city, under ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Reuters reported.

Bloomberg’s administration filed the original appeal to U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin’s ruling in August 2013, which found stop-and-frisk policies, as practiced, were unconstitutional and unfairly targeted minorities. Scheindlin ordered several reforms to the practice, including appointing an independent monitor.

The city’s appeal was dropped by current mayor Bill de Blasio shortly after he took office. And it was the opinion of the court concerning the police unions’ appeal that it was too late.

“We have serious reservations about the prospect of allowing a public‐sector union to encroach upon a duly‐elected government’s discretion to settle a dispute against it,” the panel wrote.

While the courtroom arguments played out, the NYPD began implementing some of the court-ordered reforms. According to the Associated Press, the department started developing a pilot program of body-worn cameras in five of its precincts.

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