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New York mayor formally drops appeal in NYPD stop-and-frisk lawsuit

[JURIST] New York City on Wednesday formally dropped [motion, PDF] the city's appeal of rulings in lawsuits [CCR backgrounder] involving the New York Police Department's (NYPD) [official website] use of stop-and-frisk tactics. Mayor Bill De Blasio's [official website] administration agreed to end the lawsuit against the NYPD after reaching a settlement [New York Post report] requiring three years of NYPD oversight by a court-appointed monitor. The city filed a motion to withdraw its appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website].

Criticism of NYPD's stop-and-frisk procedure [JURIST backgrounder] revolves primarily around the relevant racial issues involved [JURIST op-ed]. Critics claim the procedures are unconstitutional [JURIST op-ed] because they unfairly target minorities, who are disproportionately selected for stops and searches. Other criticisms indicate that the procedure itself is unwieldy and ineffective [JURIST op-ed], emphasizing quantity of searches over their quality and resulting in an unnecessary drain on department time and resources. De Blasio's decision to drop the appeal was announced [JURIST report] earlier this year. In November the court blocked NYPD stop-and-frisk changes. In the period between 2004 and 2011 only 1.5 percent of the 2.3 million searches conducted revealed an illegal weapon. Last year Judge Shira Scheindlin rejected [JURIST report] a motion by the City of New York to stay her order requiring a halt of the stop-and-frisk procedure. Earlier that year the judge granted [JURIST report] class action status to those challenging the procedure.

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