New York City Is Getting Ready to Drop Its Stop-and-Frisk Appeal

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 30 2014 12:53 PM

New York City Is Getting Ready to Drop Its Stop-and-Frisk Appeal

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during the swearing in ceremony for New York City's 42nd police commissioner William Bratton at One Police Plaza on January 2, 2014 in New York City

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The big news out of New York City, via the Wall Street Journal:

New York City attorneys filed paperwork to start the process of dropping the appeal of a Manhattan federal court judge's ruling that the city's stop-and-frisk practice is unconstitutional and its ordered changes, including an outside police monitor. That ruling, made in August by Judge Shire Scheindlin, followed a nine-week civil trial challenging the legality of the manner in which the New York Police Department officers were stopping and frisking mostly black and Hispanic people.
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Scheindlin's reforms were blocked last fall by then-Mayor Bloomberg. New Mayor Bill de Blasio had campaigned on resolving the dispute, so today's filing—while technically a reversal for the city itself—doesn't come as a shock. And while it doesn't mark an official end to the high-profile legal battle, it does suggest one is within sight.

Assuming everything goes as planned, the Second U.S. Court of Appeals will now send the city's appeal back to district court for 45 days, where it will be amended slightly. (The reported deal between the city and the plaintiffs will establish a minimum three-year term for the outside monitorship, after which the oversight responsibilities will pass to the city's inspector general.) Once both sides sign off on that, the city will then ask that it's appeal be dropped, and the sweeping reforms ordered by Scheindlin will be enacted.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.