Although New York City’s mayor and police chief settled a longstanding legal battle over the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices, the matter is once again before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Professor Anil Kalhan noted in an essay published in the Huffington Post on Oct. 15.
“Many New Yorkers may be surprised to learn that stop-and-frisk reform remains bogged down,” said Kalhan, who sat in on oral arguments in the Second Circuit on Oct. 15.
There, attorneys for police unions sought to appeal a 2013 ruling by U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who found that stop-and-frisk practices constituted unconstitutional racial profiling.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton ended the legal battle with a settlement agreement approved by a different U.S. District judge, Kalhan wrote.
“The interests of New York's residents would not be served by putting more roadblocks in the way of the stop-and-frisk reform process,” Kalhan wrote, adding that de Blasio won the 2013 mayoral election by a historic margin. “By attempting to undo the stop-and-frisk settlement, the unions also seek to undo the implications of last year's mayoral election, for in a real sense, the stop-and-frisk program itself was on the ballot when voters went to the polls.”
Kalhan is the author of “Stop and Frisk, Judicial Independence, and the Ironies of Improper Appearances," in the forthcoming issue of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics.