Labor & Employment

NYC police unions in stop-and-frisk litigation say they may mention case in contract talks

Two New York City police unions that filed motions to intervene in the city’s stop-and-frisk litigation may use it as leverage in ongoing contract discussions, Capital New York reports.

“At the end of the day, the goal should be, from both sides of the table, to achieve fair contracts and ultimately do what’s right, in the best interest of everyone,” Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, told the news site. “And that means for the taxpayer and the employee. If there are better ways to settle issues, whether it’s stop-and-frisk or other labor issues that can be done across the table, instead of paying all these lawyers, I’m sure the city as well as myself would be willing to discuss those things,” he said.

A federal court judge in August 2013 found that the New York Police Department’s use of stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional because it targeted men of color. Bill de Blasio, New York City’s new mayor and a vocal critic of stop-and-frisk, announced in January that the city and the plaintiffs had reached a potential settlement agreement and would drop an appeal filed by Michael Bloomberg, the city’s previous mayor.

Under the proposed settlement, the city dropped its objections to findings by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin and recognized a federal monitor she appointed. The plaintiffs and defense also discussed on-body cameras to monitor police stops.

In response, police unions—who had already filed a motion to intervene on the case before de Blasio was sworn in as mayor—filed a motion with the New York-based 2nd Circuit asking that they be allowed to continue the appeal as intervenors. If the settlement continued to go forward, the motion asked that the district court liability findings be vacated.

The 2nd Circuit granted the city’s motion to remand the case back to the trial court for settlement discussions. It did not take a position on the police union’s motion.

Currently 152 New York City municipal labor deals are expired, and de Blasio plans to settle them by the end of 2014, Capital New York reports. With the police unions, a sticking point has been whether members should contribute more toward health care.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Has ‘stop and frisk’ been stopped?”

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