Tish James Calls Stop-and-Frisk Ruling a "Major Win"

Federal judge ruled that the NYPD’s stopping individuals suspected of trespassing outside Bronx private building unconstitutional.


Prospect Heights Councilwoman Letitia James praised a federal judge's ruling Tuesday that the New York Police Department can no longer implement "stop-and-frisk" outside a private Bronx apartment building, calling the order "a major win for those critical of the department’s stop-and-frisk policy." 

A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday ordered the New York Police Department to halt a controversial stop-and-frisk tactic outside a privately owned Bronx apartment building without first having reasonable suspicion, saying the method had crossed the bounds of what could be considered constitutional.

Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in Ligon v. the City of New York that reasonable suspicion of trespassing was necessary for such arrests, and acknowledged that the NYPD must determine where to draw the sometimes-ambiguous line between justified and unjustified stops.

However, Scheindlin noted it was unfair for residents and their guests of the building to experience regular, unjustified police stops.

The court’s decision requires that the NYPD create a formal policy that specifies the circumstances in which it is legal to stop a person outside a Trespass Affidavit Program building on a suspicion of trespass. Developed by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, the Trespass Affidavit Program's goal is to seek out trespassers and arrest them on-sight in the interest of public safety.

"It is imperative that the administration and the police department move to make transparent the rationale for street stops, as well as define long-used terms such as ‘furtive movements’," James said in a statement. "The dignity of low-income and minority New Yorkers has— for too long— been considered expendable in exchange for some unproven, unexamined theoretical degree of safety. These practices will continue to undergo legal challenge.”

Ligon v. the City of New York is one of three cases regarding stop-and-frisk before the Manhattan judge.

Bill lombard January 20, 2013 at 08:11 PM
The poor working class of these areas pay the price, their kids can't go out to play, in 2013 Webster av I. The Bronx should be as safe as 5th av in manhattan. Don't be fooled by these community leaders grabbing headlines for their own self serving political agenda
Parksloper January 24, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Good point Bill. James, Brad Lander etc never have any answer or solution to the rampant crime, only point fingers at the NYPD and cry racism.
Bill lombard January 24, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Thank you, it's just a cheap and easy way to grab sound bytes, and in NYC you can never be too liberal or too anti-police. It's basically a race to the bottom for many politicians and the working tax paying people will pay the price. Why don't they try to foster instead better connections with the police and community? Start a police reserve like the LAPD does, get the community volunteering in their own areas. If more youth had meaningful interactions with the police it would create better understanding. But no, let's just point fingers instead


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