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NYPD 'Stop-And-Frisk' Policy Ruled Unconstitutional

NYPD 'Stop-And-Frisk' Policy Ruled Unconstitutional

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A key part of the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” tactic has been ruled unconstitutional.



Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered police to refrain from making some trespass stops outside private residential buildings — even though the landlord has given officers permission to do so as part of the NYPD’s “Clean Halls” program.



"While it may be difficult to say when precisely to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside buildings," Scheindlin wrote in a 157-page ruling.



A key part of the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” tactic has been ruled unconstitutional.



Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered police to refrain from making some trespass stops outside private residential buildings — even though the landlord has given officers permission to do so as part of the NYPD’s “Clean Halls” program.



"While it may be difficult to say when precisely to draw the line between constitutional and unconstitutional police encounters such a line exists, and the NYPD has systematically crossed it when making trespass stops outside buildings," Scheindlin wrote in a 157-page ruling.

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09/17/2013

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See Tr. 10/22 at 1043:17–1044:13.

306

See id.; Tr. 10/23 at 1111:2–8.

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Defendants introduced evidence of a dramatic reduction in declines to

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prosecute for trespass arrests, in general, in the Bronx in 2012. See, e.g., Tr. 10/18

at 726:18–727:7; Tr. 10/23 at 1249:7–17. But this obviously does not provide a

reliable basis for inferring that unlawful trespass stops outside TAP buildings have

declined.

92

Case 1:12-cv-02274-SAS-HBP Document 96 Filed 01/08/13 Page 92 of 157

As a preliminary matter, defendants argue that plaintiffs lack standing

to seek injunctive relief. I addressed this issue extensively in Floyd, and again in

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Davis, and the same analysis applies here. First, “[c]oncrete injury is a

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prerequisite to standing and a ‘plaintiff seeking injunctive or declaratory relief

cannot rely on past injury to satisfy the injury requirement but must show a

likelihood that he or she will be injured in the future.’” Second, “‘[t]he

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possibility of recurring injury ceases to be speculative when actual repeated

incidents are documented.’” Third, “‘the presence of one party with standing is

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sufficient to satisfy Article III’s case-or-controversy requirement.’”

313

Abdullah Turner and Letitia Ledan both testified to two specific

unlawful trespass stops outside TAP buildings in the Bronx, and J.G. and Jovan

Jefferson both referred to having been stopped multiple times outside TAP

See Def. Findings ¶ 47.

309

See Davis, 2012 WL 4813837, at *26; Floyd, 283 F.R.D. at 169.

310

Floyd, 283 F.R.D. at 169 (quoting Deshawn v. Safir, 156 F.3d 340,

311

344 (2d Cir. 1998)).

Davis, 2012 WL 4813837, at *26 n.225 (quoting Nicacio v. United

312

States Immigration & Naturalization Serv., 768 F.2d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir. 1985)).

Id. at *26 (quoting Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic & Institutional

313

Rights, 547 U.S. 47, 53 (2006)).

93

Case 1:12-cv-02274-SAS-HBP Document 96 Filed 01/08/13 Page 93 of 157

buildings. Even if, as I found, Ledan’s second stop was not on suspicion of

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trespass, the evidence suggests that both of Turner’s stops were. Furthermore,

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Turner has lived since 2008 in a TAP building, where, based on the evidence

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presented at the hearing, he will likely be the target of future unlawful stops — if

such stops continue to take place as they have in the past. This is sufficient to

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confer standing on plaintiffs.

318

See supra Part IV.A.2.b, c, f, i. Jefferson testified to being stopped

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seven to eight times outside TAP buildings. See Tr. 10/16 at 361:12–14.

See supra Part IV.A.2.b.

315

See Tr. 10/17 at 471:11–472:19, 486:9–487:1.

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I also note, as I did in Floyd, that in light of the frequency of unlawful

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trespass stops outside TAP buildings in the Bronx, even those plaintiffs who have

only been subjected to such a stop one time would likely have standing, provided

that they continue to live in or visit TAP buildings. “‘[T]here is no per se rule

requiring more than one past act, or any prior act, for that matter, as a basis for

finding a likelihood of future injury.’” Floyd, 283 F.R.D. at 170 n.106 (quoting

Roe v. City of New York, 151 F. Supp. 2d 495, 503 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)). Accord

Battle v. City of New York, No. 11 Civ. 3599, 2012 WL 112242, at *3–4 (S.D.N.Y.

Jan. 12, 2012) (concluding that plaintiffs, each of whom had only one alleged

wrongful experience with NYPD officers under program involving searches of

livery cars, had standing to pursue injunctive relief against NYPD, based on

number of cars enrolled in the program and plaintiffs’ reliance on such cars);

National Cong. for Puerto Rican Rights v. City of New York, 75 F. Supp. 2d 154,

161–62 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) (concluding that frequency of NYPD stops and plaintiffs’

belonging to groups distinctly affected by NYPD stop practices gave plaintiffs

standing to seek injunctive relief).

Of course, plaintiffs would not be likely to suffer injury in the future if

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the NYPD no longer had a custom of making unlawful trespass stops outside TAP

buildings. But while defendants have introduced evidence of certain changes in

94

Case 1:12-cv-02274-SAS-HBP Document 96 Filed 01/08/13 Page 94 of 157

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