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New York City mayor files suit over new stop-and-frisk legislation

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg [official website] filed suit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday against the New York City Council [official website] in an effort to overturn recently-enacted legislation relating to the New York Police Department (NYPD) [official website] stop-and-frisk program [text]. The legislation at issue, Local Law 71 of 2013, is a bill that expands the definition of racial profiling and gives New Yorkers who believe they were targeted the right to sue [Reuters report] police in state court. In the complaint, the mayor's office claims that Local Law 71 is preempted by the state's criminal code. The City Council passed the bill last month [AP report], overriding Bloomberg's veto.

Last month a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the stop-and-frisk policy violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. In July of last year a report issued by a coalition of legal rights organizations said that the NYPD used excessive force and violated the rights of protesters [JURIST report] who participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. A month prior, a Muslim rights group filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in New Jersey seeking to end the department's controversial surveillance program, which allegedly targets individuals based on religious affiliation. In May of last year, following an investigation into the NYPD's surveillance program, New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa concluded that it did not violate the Constitution. That March NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly fervently denied [press release] that the surveillance programs were unconstitutional.

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