New York, March 14 — Today, the 5 millionth “stop and frisk” to take place during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration will occur, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.
On March 18, the Center for Constitutional Rights will put the New York Police Department and the Bloomberg administration on trial for their violations of civil and constitutional rights through this notorious and racist practice.
The case, known as Floyd v. City of New York, is a federal class-action civil lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of New Yorkers subjected to police abuse because they are Black, Latino/a, Asian, Arab or Native. It seeks both damages on behalf of those affected and an end to the racial profiling program that especially targets Black and Brown youth.
According to an expert report issued by Dr. Jeffrey Fagan in December, based on statistics for the period January 2010 to June 2012, “Blacks and Latinos are significantly more likely to be stopped than whites. Overall, Blacks and Latinos constitute 84 percent of the stops, a far higher percentage than their proportion of the city’s population.”
The CCR says, “The new report confirms that the constitutional violations documented previously continue to plague the controversial stop-and-frisk program.”
At a news conference on March 13, David Ourlicht, one of the named plaintiffs in the case, said he hopes he’s never stopped again. He recalled how nine cops pulled guns on him as he kept a friend company during a smoke break in Harlem.
“These things are all too familiar to people of color in the city. It’s an issue that I’ve been dealing with since I was 15, and it hurts,” Ourlicht said. “When I have kids, I don’t want them to have to feel that.”
The CCR, Communities United for Policing Reform and others are calling for opponents of racism and police brutality to help pack the courtroom for the trial, starting on Monday, March 18, at the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan. The trial will take place before Judge Shira Scheindlin in Courtroom 15-C.
More information, updates on the case and background on “Stop and Frisk” are available at ccrjustice.org/Floyd.