| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 8 A U.S. judge on Tuesday ordered
the New York Police Department to immediately stop conducting
trespass stops outside certain buildings in the borough of the
Bronx without "reasonable suspicion" that an individual is
engaged in criminal activity.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan issued her
ruling in the narrowest of three main lawsuits challenging New
York City's controversial "stop and frisk" policy.
The NYPD and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have defended the
program, in which police stop and question people they suspect
of unlawful activity and frisk those they suspect are carrying
weapons. The NYPD and the mayor argue it has reduced crime.
The plaintiffs in the case are black and Latino residents.
The police deny that race or quotas motivate stops.
Scheindlin, who heard testimony in the case late last year,
said in her ruling on Tuesday that it "is difficult to believe
that residents of one of our boroughs live under such a threat"
of being stopped as they leave their homes.
"In light of the evidence presented at the hearing, however,
I am compelled to conclude that this is the case," she wrote.
Scheindlin also said her ruling was limited, "directed
squarely at a category of stops lacking reasonable suspicion."
Spokespeople for the city and the police department had no
"With today's ruling, the federal court has stated loudly
and clearly that a major part of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk
program is unconstitutional and that the time has come for the
courts to order a halt to illegal stops," Christopher Dunn,
associate legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union,
said in a statement.
In the 157-page ruling, the judge proposed new requirements
for the NYPD to develop a formal written policy on the limited
instances it would be allowed to stop a person outside privately
owned, mostly low-income housing buildings in the Bronx that opt
into a voluntary policing program.
The judge also proposed ordering the city to revise its
training materials and programs for police officers.