Amsterdam News: Hands Off: Black community responds to U.S. District Court ruling of NYPD’s “Clean Halls” as unconstitutional

Could this be the first step to eliminating “stop and frisk?”

On Tuesday morning, a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge ruled that the New York Police Department’s “Clean Halls Program” violated the constitutional rights of New York City residents. According to Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, for years the NYPD should have known (or already knew) that its officers had routinely violated constitutional rights through the Clean Halls. Scheindlin said that the NYPD failed to properly train officers about when it was legal to make trespass stops.

Tuesday’s rulings comes as part of a class-action lawsuit filed last March by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), The Bronx Defenders, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP, which challenged the city’s enforcement of “Clean Halls,” which itself is a part of the department’s “stop and frisk” program.

McGregor Smyth, of The Bronx Defenders hoped that this ruling would force the NYPD to look collectively in the mirror and reassess their practices and how they affect the residents of places like the Bronx.

“Today, the Court recognized that thousands of Bronx residents are under siege in their homes – not by crime, but by a Police Department that is out of control,” said Smyth “The NYPD now must end this illegal and abusive dragnet once and for all.”

By Stephon Johnson

Read more here.