WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, June 12, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a 21-page brief citing the possibility of appointing a federal monitor over the New York Police Department (NYPD) if the controversial stop and frisk program is found unconstitutional during an on-going class action civil trial in New York City.
“The potential involvement of the Justice Department in monitoring the NYPD stop and frisk program would be a substantial step in the right direction toward protecting the civil liberties of New York City residents,” stated Rep. Jeffries.
The brief, filed by Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General and Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez, cites jurisdiction over the appointment of a federal monitor and mentions other cities, such as Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, where monitors have been placed successfully.
Members of Congress and other community leaders have consistently called upon the Department of Justice to reign in the excessive stop and frisk activity of the NYPD, including in a recent letter sent by Rep. Jeffries on Thursday, June 6 to Attorney General Eric Holder. A copy of the letter can be found here.
“For too long, hundreds of thousands of innocent, law-abiding New Yorkers have been subjected to unconstitutional police encounters in the absence of reasonable suspicion. That must end. The Justice Department has intervened in other cities to protect the constitutional rights of the local community. It is now time for the Justice Department to intervene in New York City.”
Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin, who is presiding over the class-action lawsuit, is expected to issue a decision on the case in coming months and would appoint the potential monitor.