The lawyers suing the New York Police Department over its stop-and-frisk policy said the federal case’s March 18 court date will kick off the “trial of the century” over what they allege is a racially discriminatory policy.
Noting that blacks and Latinos were 87 percent of those stopped in 2011 and 2012, though they made up only 53 percent of the city’s population, Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, rolled out the legal strategy on Wednesday. His group brought the lawsuit on behalf of anyone who has been illegally stopped by police in New York in violation of the Fourth and 14th Amendments.
“They would rather fight a lawsuit than switch to a constitutional form of policing,” Warren said of the NYPD. “They would rather make this the trial of the century than be part of the solution of the century. So we are putting the NYPD on trial.”
The Police Department has steadfastly defended its stop-and-frisk policy as an essential crime-fighting tool that helps curb gun violence. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said during a New York City Council hearing on Tuesday that stop-and-frisk is “part of the normal function of police officers.”
Read more here.