NEW YORK — Eight years after a judge ruled New York City police violated the constitution by stopping and frisking mostly Black and Hispanic people on the street en masse, people in communities most affected by such tactics say they’ve been shut out of the legal process to end them.
Lawyers for plaintiffs in stop-and-frisk lawsuits said in court papers Thursday that community stakeholders have had “very little contact” in the last three years with the court-appointed monitor overseeing reforms and that reports he’s issued don’t reflect their experiences.
They’re demanding greater input, including an advisory board, annual community surveys and biannual audits of NYPD stop-and-frisk and trespass enforcement activity.
A messages seeking comment was left with the monitor, Peter Zimroth.
“You can only constitutionally stop somebody when you believe they’re committing a crime or about to commit a crime,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea recently told PIX11.
The Legal Aid Society in June pointed to numbers that show roughly 91% of reported stop-and-frisk procedures in 2020 involved New Yorkers of color, with Black New Yorkers making up a majority of the stops, despite making up less than a quarter of New York City’s population.
“Not only have stop-and-frisk procedures impacted communities of color, but in over 95% of those cases, no contraband was even found,” said Jennvine Wong of The Legal Aid Society. “So, we have to ask why we are still engaging in these practices.”