The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

CCR Testifies on Need for Independent Oversight and Greater Transparency for NYPD

City Council Holds Hearing on Racial Disparities in Stops-and-Frisks by Police


Today, the New York City Council Committees on Public Safety and Civil Rights held a hearing to address stops-and-frisks by the New York City Police Department (NYPD). At the hearing, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) urged
the council members to: 1) create an independent monitor of the
department; 2) reform the Civilian Complaint Review Board; and 3)
require the NYPD to make more of its data public. CCR offered these
remedies independent from its current lawsuit against the NYPD for
racial disparities in stops-and-frisks. CCR issued the following

"The enormous racial disparities in stops-and-frisks by police apparent
in the NYPD data we received indicate the need for oversight and
transparency. Policing experts across the country recognize that
independent oversight of police departments leads to better law
enforcement and greater transparency restores public confidence. The
City Council is doing the right thing confronting illegal
stops-and-frisks by the NYPD. It's time for creative solutions to end
the use of what is not only racially discriminatory but an ineffective
crime-fighting tactic - stops-and-frisks are a grave concern for New
Yorkers and their rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution."

CCR issued a report earlier this year which analyzed three-and-a
half years of NYPD stop-and-frisk data and showed that over 80 percent
of NYPD-initiated stops are of Blacks and Latinos, who only make up 50
percent of New York City's population; and that Black and Latino New
Yorkers are more likely to be frisked after NYPD-initiated stops than
Whites and are more likely to have physical force used against them
during NYPD-initiated stops than Whites.

The data was obtained as part of Floyd v. City of New York,
a class action civil rights lawsuit filed on January 31, 2008 charging
the NYPD with engaging in racial profiling and suspicion-less
stops-and-frisks of law-abiding New York City residents. According to
CCR attorneys, the named plaintiffs in the case - David Floyd, David
Ourlicht, Lalit Clarkson, and Deion Dennis - represent the thousands of
New Yorkers who have been stopped, on the way to work, in front of
their homes, or just walking down the street, without any cause,
primarily because they were people of color.

Floyd stems from CCR's landmark racial profiling case, Daniels v. City of New York,
filed in the wake of the Amadou Diallo shooting, that led to the
disbanding of the infamous Street Crime Unit and a settlement with the
City in 2003. The settlement agreement reached in Daniels required
that the NYPD maintain a written racial profiling policy that complies
with the U.S. and New York State constitutions and provide
stop-and-frisk data to CCR on a quarterly basis from the last quarter
of 2003 through the first quarter of 2007. An analysis of the data
revealed that the NYPD continued to engage in stops-and-frisks without
suspicion and based on race. That analysis and all the data it was
based on were under a protective order that did not allow it to be
released to the public until the judge ordered it released in the Floyd

For more information on Floyd v. City of New York, click here. To read CCR's report on racial disparity in NYPD stops-and-frisks, click here.

Attached Files

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

(212) 614-6464