CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"Judge Criticizes ‘High Error Rate’ of New York Police Stops"

From the New York Times:

After listening to two months of testimony on the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin left little doubt about her views of their effectiveness in helping detect criminal behavior.

. . .

On Monday, Judge Scheindlin asked the lawyers what evidence was required before she could conclude that a police officer’s decision to stop someone had been influenced by race. It is a critical question, particularly because there is no evidence that the officers used racial slurs or overtly racial language when stopping any of the individual plaintiffs who testified in court.

In the absence of overt racial slurs, Judge Scheindlin repeatedly asked a city lawyer, would it be appropriate to infer that a police encounter was racially motivated if an officer stopped a black man with no apparent basis?

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