Judge Rules Stop-and-Frisk Unconstitutional, Appoints Federal MonitorS

A federal judge has ruled that the NYPD's infamous stop-and-frisk practice "violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers"—but didn't order the NYPD to end the policy immediately.

Instead, federal judge Shira Scheindlin appointed an outside lawyer, Peter Zimroth, to oversee reforms to the policy that would bring it in line with the constitutional rights Scheindlin found it to violate:

These stop-and-frisk episodes, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline, demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, according to the ruling. It also found violations with the 14th Amendment. [...]

While the Supreme Court has long recognized the right of police officers to briefly stop and investigate people who are behaving suspiciously, Judge Scheindlin found that the New York police had overstepped that authority. She found that officers were too quick to deem as suspicious behavior that was perfectly innocent, in effect watering down the legal standard required for a stop.

Zimroth, a partner at Arnold & Porter and a former prosecutor with the Manhattan D.A., will monitor the NYPD's implementation of stop-and-frisk and ensure that it is complying with Scheindlin's orders.

[image via AP]