Judge Tells NYPD to Follow the Law, Demands New Stop-and-Frisk Tactics

March 5, 2015 | Raven Rakia

It just got a little bit harder for the NYPD to stop-and-frisk you for no reason. Well, at least on paper. Earlier this week, a memo was sent out to all officers stating new rules regarding stop-and-frisk policies, effective immediately, DNAinfo reported.

Officers can no longer stop people based solely on “furtive movements,” or because there is “mere presence in a ‘high crime area.’” In 2011, when the NYPD made 685,724 documented stops, the arbitrary “furtive movements” was listed as the number one reason for stops.

In order to stop someone based on a description of a suspect, the description must be a detailed one – more detailed than, for example, “an 18 to 25 year old black male.”

Frisks can only be done when the officer has reasonable suspicion that the person is armed – not simply because that person has committed a crime, or to look for evidence of such.

The memo also demands the NYPD handle police misconduct and implement a one year pilot program for officer body cameras. The rules were ordered by the Federal District Court in the case of Floyd v. City of New York – 18 months after Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactics were unconstitutional.

Of course, Patrick Lynch wasn’t happy. In a short statement the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President said, “police officers are going to have to travel with an attorney just to interpret these new stop and frisk regulations.”

Unfortunately, the rules won’t do nearly enough to change the culture of the NYPD. And with NYPD Commissioner Bratton’s new focus on broken windows policing – where the NYPD can arrest you for damn near anything – we can be sure the harassment of communities of color will continue.

(Photo: Nick Normal)