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Amicus Brief

Amicus Brief

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Published by: NewsFromMelissa on Feb 03, 2012
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02/03/2012

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UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTSOUTHERNDISTRICTOFNEWYORK
DAVIDFLOYD,etal.,Plaintiffs,No.08Civ.1034(SAS)
-v-
THECITYOFNEWYORK,etal.,Defendants.
BRIEFOF
AMICUSCURIAE
THEBLACK,LATINOANDASIANCAUCUSOFTHECOUNCILOFTHECITYOFNEWYORKINFURTHERSUPPORTOFPLAINTIFFS'MOTIONFORCLASSCERTIFICATION
Dated:February2,2012
 
INTERESTOF
AMICUSCURIAE
THEBLACK,LATINO,ANDASIANCAUCUSOFTHECOUNCILOFTHECITYOFNEWYORK
TheBlack,LatinoandAsianCaucus("BLAC")oftheCounciloftheCityofNewYork(the"Council")iscomposedof27CouncilMembers,withatleastonememberfromeachofthefiveboroughsintheCityofNewYork(the"City").EachmemberoftheBLACrepresentsaCityCoun~ilDistrictwithapproximately155,000constituents.Inall,theBLACrepresentsover4millionNewYorkers,approximately73%ofwhomareBlackorLatino.TheBLACconvenestoensurethattheCityCounciladdressesissuesofparticularconcerntotheCity'sBlack,LatinoandAsiancommunities.MembersoftheBLACworkcloselywiththeNewYorkPoliceDepartment("NYPD")tofightcrimeandaddresssafetyandqualityoflifeissuesintheircommunities.TheygreatlyappreciatetheNYPD'scommitmenttoensuringthatresidentsintheCity'smanydiverseneighborhoodsaresafe.Theyalsounderstandthetremendouschallengesthatthepolicefaceinthiswork.Atthesametime,fromtheirworkservingresidentsintheirdistrictsandaslegislatorsandoverseersofCityagencies,theBLAChasauniqueperspectivetoshareontheNYPD'sstopandfriskpolicies.First,asleadersintheircommunitiesandthroughconstituentserviceactivities,membersoftheBLACcommunicateregularlywiththepublicandreceivehundreds,ifnotthousands,ofinformalcomplaintseveryyearfromconstituentsaboutbeingstoppedandfriskedbytheNYPDwithoutreasonablesuspicion.Indeed,becauseithasbecomeapartoflifetobestoppedandfriskedwithoutreasonablesuspicionformanyoftheBLAC'sconstituents,theBLACbelievesthatthenumberofcomplaintsreceivedbytheirofficesandevenbytheNewYorkCityCivilian2
 
ComplaintReviewBoard("CCRB")!may,infact,dramaticallyunderstatethescopeofthisproblem.Second,aslegislatorsandthroughtheiroversightcapacity,membersoftheBLAChavecloselyexaminedNYPD'sstopandfriskpractices.MembersoftheBLACparticipatedinjointhearingsheldbytheCouncil'sCommitteesonPublicSafetyandCivilRightsonApril30,2009,2andbytheCouncil'sCommitteesonPublicSafety,CivilRights,andPublicHousingonSeptember28,2010,3ontheimpactandpervasivenessoftheNYPD'sstop-and-friskpoliciesandpracticesthroughouttheCitygenerallyandintheCity'spublichousingdevelopments.Thesehearingsincludedtestimonyfrom,amongothers:GregRidgeway,theauthorofanNYPD-commissionedstudyreliedonbyDefendantsinthiscase;JeffreyFagan,anexpertcitedbyPlaintiffs;andrepresentativesfromtheCCRB.Throughtheirlocalleadershipandlegislativeroles,theBLAChasworkedtochangetheNYPD'sstopandfriskpoliciesandpracticesforyears.Theyhavealsoexperiencedtheeffectsofthesepractices:thereinforcednegativeracialstereotypesandagrowingdistrustoftheNYPDonthepartofBlackandLatinoresidents.ThisdistrusthamperseffortsbytheBLACtobringthecommunityandNYPDtogethertodealwithissuesofcrimeandqualityoflife.Thedistrustalsospillsovertootherinstitutionsofgovernment,makingitmoredifficultfortheBLACtoengageyouthandotherconstituentstosolvepersistentcommunityproblems.
I
TheCCREis"[a]nindependentciviliancomplaintreviewboard...withtheauthoritytoinvestigateallegationsofpolicemisconduct."
See
NewYorkCityCharter§440.
2
"AnalysisofNYPDStopandFriskEncounters,"JointCommitteesonPublicSafetyandCivilRights,CityCouncil,CityofNewYork(Apr.30,2009),transcript
availableat
http://bit.ly/woOYIA("2009Tr.").TheCourtmaytakejudicialnoticeofboththeApril30,2009andSeptember28,2010hearings.
SeeSchubertv.CityofRye,
775F.Supp.2d689,696n.3(S.D.N.Y.2011)(takingjudicialnoticeofCityCouncilmeetings).
3
"StopandFriskPracticesinNewYorkCityHousingAuthorityDevelopments,"JointCommitteesonPublicHousing,CivilRights,andPublicSafety,CityCouncil,CityofNewYork(Sept.28,2010),transcript
availableat
http://bit.1y/A6GGok("2010Tr.").
3

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