Police Stops in Bronx Violated Constitution, Judge Rules

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A federal judge blocked the New York City Police Department from making unlawful stops outside privately owned buildings in the Bronx, ruling the department’s “stop and frisk” practices violate the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan today ordered the NYPD to stop making so-called “trespass stops” outside buildings enrolled in the city’s Trespass Affidavit Program, or TAP, without reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is on the property illegally.

The ruling was in one of three federal court challenges to NYPD “stop and frisk” practices. It followed a hearing held by Scheindlin from Oct. 15 to Nov. 7 in a suit filed last year by a group of black and Latino residents.

“For those of us who do not fear being stopped as we approach or leave our own homes or those of our friends and families, it is difficult to believe that residents of one of our boroughs live under such a threat,” Scheindlin wrote in a 149-page opinion. “In light of the evidence presented at the hearing, however, I am compelled to conclude that this is the case.”

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