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Bloomberg administration asks judge to suspend stop-and-frisk ruling

The city is asking Manhattan District Judge Schira Scheindlin to suspend her ruling ordering the NYPD to reform its stop-and-frisk practices. AP Photo/Richard Drew
TimesLedger Newspapers

The Bloomberg administration Tuesday asked the federal judge who earlier this month ruled the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional to temporarily suspend her appointment of an independent monitor and her order to reform the practice, claiming the broad-sweeping directive is likely to cause “irreparable harm” to public safety.

The city filed its request with U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin after notifying her a week and a half earlier that it planned to appeal her Aug. 13 ruling that the department violated the Fourth and 14th Amendments with its controversial policing policy.

“The city remains highly concerned by ramifications from this decision. We believe that the Police Department and its officers have acted — and continue to act — lawfully and constitutionally,” Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo said in a statement. “Accordingly today, we have moved before Judge Scheindlin asking her to stay her decision while the appeal goes forward. The city’s safety remains Mayor Bloomberg’s and Police Commissioner Kelly’s paramount concern. Our Police Department must be free to do its job correctly and protectively.”

In requesting the stay, the city Law Department said there is a substantial likelihood it will win its appeal that Scheindlin ruled erroneously and claimed the injunctive relief she ordered has “no discernible end point or standards to measure success.”

The city’s lawyers argue that Scheindlin’s orders, such as those to distribute a “Finest Message” system to rank-and-file officers notifying them of the decision and retraining officers, will likely cause “irreparable harm to defendants and the public safety.”

“Less measurable perhaps, but nevertheless quite likely, is that the sheer confusion that will arise even from the Finest Message will simply lead to less enforcement action in general,” the city wrote. “Of course, public safety may also suffer if police resources are spent off the street on retraining and body camera logistics instead of on actually policing.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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