NYC Withdraws Support for Police Stop-and-Frisk Challenge

New York City withdrew its consent for police unions to intervene in a legal dispute over stop-and-frisk tactics, two weeks after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a settlement of a lawsuit over the practice.

City Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter today also urged the federal appeals court in Manhattan to reject a request from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, the Detectives Endowment Association and two other unions to continue reviewing an appeal of decisions last year by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who found that the stops violated the U.S. Constitution.

Allowing the unions to intervene in the case would “unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the existing parties” and “frustrate the city’s efforts with plaintiffs to bring this litigation to an end,” Carter said in a memo to the court.

The administration of de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, had granted the police unions permission to intercede as it attempted to reverse Scheindlin’s findings. De Blasio, sworn in as mayor on Jan. 1, said Jan. 30 that the city settled with plaintiffs who sued to end the police stops and other practices.

The new administration also asked that the city’s appeal be halted for 45 days and the case be sent back to a lower court for review, effectively ending the challenge. The unions last week filed papers seeking to block de Blasio from halting suits over police tactics.

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The appeal cases are Ligon v. City of New York, 13-03442, and Floyd v. City of New York, 13-03461, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan). The lower-court cases are Floyd v. City of New York, 08-cv-01034; and Ligon v. City of New York 12-cv-02274, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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