2003 September 24

New York City Police “Stop and Frisk” Practices Unconstitutional — But Practice Continues


A federal lawsuit, Daniels v. City of New York, challenging the practice of stops and frisks by the New York City Police Department (NYPD), was settled through a stipulated agreement on this day. The challenge charged that the practices were unconstitutional under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The stipulation required the NYPD to institute reforms to end both racial profiling and unconstitutional stops and frisks. Violations of citizens’ rights continued, and the NYPD greatly escalated the number of stops each year, reaching 600,000 a year at its peak.

A new suit, Floyd v. City of New York, was filed in 2008. On August 12, 2013, the U.S. District Court found the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices to be unconstitutional, ordered a series of reforms, and appointed an independent monitor to oversee their implementation. The city appealed, but in January 2014, the new mayor, Bill De Blasio, withdrew the appeal, allowing the court decision to stand.

The Supreme Court established the law of stops and frisks in the case of Terry v. Ohio (June 10, 1968). Under that decision, a “stop, which is a temporary detention,” is justified only when an officer has “reasonable suspicion” that the person is committing or is about to commit a crime. The judge ordered a sweeping set of reforms for the NYPD, including a new stop-and-frisk report form and improved procedures for the review of officers’ conduct in stop and frisk situations.

Read the Daniels Stipulation: http://ccrjustice.org/files/Daniels_StipulationOfSettlement_12_03_0.pdf

Learn more about the cases at the Center for Constitutional Rights: http://www.ccrjustice.org

Read: Stephen Schulhofer, More Essential Than Ever: The Fourth Amendment in the Twenty-First Century (2012)

Learn more about the 2013 Floyd case: http://www.ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_Floyd_Timeline-20140130.pdf

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!