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Judge blocks police unions in stop-and-frisk case

Friday, August 01, 2014    

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NEW YORK, USA (CMC) — A US federal judge has denied a bid by police unions to intervene in the stop-and-frisk case, involving minorities, including Caribbean immigrants, paving the way for the city's settlement over the controversial practice to proceed.

In a 105-page ruling on Wednesday, Judge Analisa Torres said the 11th-hour bid by various police unions to get involved in the long-running litigation was 'untimely'.

She said the groups didn't have the standing to get involved in the court fight between the city and the plaintiffs, who said their constitutional rights were violated by the New York Police Department's (NYPD) use of stop-and-frisk tactics in its policing.

The unions' challenge was the biggest roadblock to enacting a settlement reached between the plaintiffs and the Bill de Blasio administration earlier this year, overhauling the way the police use the tactic and agreeing to a court-appointed monitor to make sure those reforms stick, according to the New York Daily News.

De Blasio said the judge's decision to formally approve the settlement to resolve the stop-and-frisk litigation was 'a major step in our efforts to repair police-community relations'.

The bitter court fight between the plaintiffs -- minorities who had been stopped by cops -- and the previous city administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg resulted in a blistering ruling by Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin last August.

Scheindlin found the NYPD had abused the practice, resulting in an unconstitutional 'policy of indirect racial profiling'.

An appeals court later booted Scheindlin off the case, but her ruling was used as the basis for the settlement by the de Blasio Administration that was announced in late January.

The deal calls for retraining officers on the use of stop-and-frisk, and a pilot programme for officers in some precincts to wear body cameras.

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