CrimProf Blog

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

"More Complaints Than Proposed Solutions at Trial Over Police Searches"

From The New York Times:

The judge overseeing the trial examining the constitutionality of theNew York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices had a novel idea for how to reduce illegal police stops.  

“What did you think of a body-worn camera?” the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, asked the lawyers assembled before her. It was the last question the judge asked during the trial, which ran from March to May.

. . .

A ruling in the case is expected soon. Both civil rights lawyers and some city officials say privately they anticipate that Judge Scheindlin will rule against the Police Department, finding a pattern of constitutional violations. But there is far less consensus about what she might do about it.

Indeed, as the trial ended, it seemed that Judge Scheindlin was casting about for ideas on how she might fix the problem, should she rule that the police were systematically violating people’s rights during the street stops. Her interest in body cameras also underscored an unusual fact about the litigation: the civil rights lawyers who brought the lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, were certain of an underlying problem, but less precise about offering solutions.

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