Criminal Procedure

'Stop and frisk' lawsuit against city police gets class action status

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin found Monday that a group of black and Latino residents in the Bronx could bring claims on behalf of a class of potentially thousands of people at risk of being stopped outside certain residential buildings in the New York City borough.

The lawsuit contends that the New York City Police Department’s practice of stopping people they suspect of unlawful activity and frisking those they suspect of carrying weapons violates the U.S. Constitution, Reuters reports. Scheindlin previously banned some stops related to an anti-crime program and required officers to have “reasonable suspicion” that an individual is engaged in criminal activity to make a stop, but Reuters reported that the order was put on hold Jan. 22 while the city pursues an appeal.

Defenders of the tactics, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, say the police practices have helped to reduce crime, according to the report.

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