Eric Holder Wants To Stop And Frisk The NYPD

from the competition:-who-can-abuse-civil-rights-more? dept

Cross-posted from

The NYPD really loves its stop and frisk policy. The prospect of randomly stopping exclusively minorities a random selection of New Yorkers really excites the department. And why not? The practice has done wonders to prevent crime in the city. Well, if you define “crime” as pot possession. Because the policy hasn’t accomplished much of anything else.

Now the constitutionality of the policy is in jeopardy, awaiting a decision from Judge Shira “Don’t Call Me Judy” Scheindlin, the judge the City decided to embarrass by commissioning a report accusing her of bias because the City is incredibly stupid.

When and if (OK, “when”) Judge Scheindlin strikes down the current iteration of the policy, Eric Holder has a suggestion for how to remedy the violation. And Mayor Mike Bloomberg is none too pleased…

The Attorney General’s office filed a brief yesterday outlining one option Judge Scheindlin might consider in awarding injunctive relief:

The News reports that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s office filed a brief yesterday requesting that if the NYPD loses the case and its stop-and-frisk policies are found to be illegal, “the court has wide discretion to enter injunctive relief,” which “may include the appointment of an independent monitor.” … Mayor Bloomberg is reportedly “outraged.”

And we all know what an “outraged” Michael Bloomberg looks like.

Alex Pareene of Salon notes:

The NYPD obviously needs a monitor. The city argues that the department’s own internal affairs bureau is oversight enough, but the IAB has failed to uncover or prosecute an array of recent examples of police misconduct and IAB veterans and plenty of cops who’ve dealt with the bureau say it’s slow, incompetent, and bordering on corrupt. New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board is independent and thorough, but it also has no authority beyond issuing recommendations to the commissioner. A complete lack of accountability and oversight is part of Bloomberg’s governing philosophy, which holds that he should be able to appoint people who answer only to him, and then those people should be in charge forever.

Not only is New York’s IAB suspect, there are rumors (which I’ve been unable to confirm) that the Manhattan District Attorney is moving the office of the prosecutors assigned to these cases from an undisclosed location back to the main office. Placing prosecutors looking into police misconduct back in a building where multiple cops can watch potential informers enter and exit seems like foolhardy.

For all the flack that Eric Holder is taking (and all the flack Assistant AG Thomas Perez is about to get in his Secretary of Labor confirmation hearings), Holder’s handling of civil rights has been aggressive and commendable:

Holder’s Justice Department has actually had a very impressive record on civil rights cases. His Civil Rights Division, led by Thomas Perez, has not hesitated to investigate police departments for misconduct, and it has forced reforms in cities like in New Orleans. In March of this year, Perez announced an investigation into Cleveland police focusing on excessive force. Thomas Perez is decidedly one of the best things about the Obama administration. That he’d push the Justice Department to weigh in on the NYPD case, over the strong objections of Mayor Bloomberg, is laudable, especially because Obama himself has a strange obsession with winning the mayor’s favor.

If she rules against the City, Judge Scheindlin may not accept the DOJ’s offer, but it looks logical on paper. Federal agents pulling rank all over town is sure to make Bloomberg and the NYPD even angrier.

I guess the City doesn’t like being singled out and subjected to humiliating spot searches to guarantee that it’s in full compliance with the law. Go figure.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Ain't that a bit racialist

    If Holder, or Obama for that matter, were walking down the street in NYC they would be stopped and frisked... because they are non-white.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Stjohn Stjohn, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 3:39pm

    Pet Peeve

    The whole "flack" vs "flak" thing. "Flak" is what someone takes. "Flack" is what someone is. Flacks take flak, especially if they are the mouthpieces for a government agency.

     

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  •  
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    NoahVail (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    "Holder’s Justice Department has actually had a very impressive record on civil rights cases."

    Holder's pro-civil-rights record is a lot like Obama's pro-whistleblower record.
    That is, they're aggressive in pursuing anyone outside the administration, vicious in protecting abuses committed by inside the administration.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    ITWARZ, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    Technology Can Solve This...

    The AXON FLEX On-Officer Audio Video Camera would end most litigation claiming civil rights violations. Exactly what the officer did, everything that officer said, and exactly what was said and done to him/her would be recorded over 12 hours, that officers full shift. The system stays on throughout the officers work day. A number of cities, some of them major cities already have this. I have a civil case pending against the City Of New York and the NYPD and I will be offering to settle and pay half my own legal fees if the city agrees to a test program for one year in the 81pct in Brooklyn utilizing this equipment. The cost to the city would be less than just settling my one case. Wish me luck. - ITWARZ

     

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    identicon
    btr1701, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:36pm

    Holder

    > Holder’s handling of civil rights has been aggressive
    > and commendable

    Well, except for when it's the civil rights of non-minorities being violated. His response to the Black Panther voter intimidation incident was basically "Move along, folks. Nothing to see here."

     

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  •  
    identicon
    michael, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    Holder?

    "Holder’s handling of civil rights has been aggressive and commendable"

    How's that whole wiretapping thing working out?

    Also, who are you, and what have you done to the normally rational website Techdirt?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

      Re: Holder?

      there have been numerous examples of the DOJ siding against (state) governments on civil rights issues - the difference is that when it comes the administration's own civil rights imbroglios the DOJ has ignored them as it's part of the administration.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 5:21am

      Re: Holder?

      Well, there is a point - that Holder is holding others accountable outside the administration.

      Now, if only he could do the same within...he might actually be a decent AG.

       

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  •  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 9:00pm

    Eric Holder executes a plan to redirect public scrutiny to a state overreaching to remove focus from his office.
    Film at 11.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 11:31pm

    Yay more stop and molest action.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 2:40am

    with the way he has conducted himself, i would think a replacement mayor at the first opportunity may not go amiss?

     

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    Bergman (profile), Jun 15th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    An obvious solution to the problem would be to make the CCRB the federal monitor. Suddenly a purely advisory body would have real teeth, and be able to act directly when IAB refuses to r is unable to.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Unions suck

    The police union will step in and tell everyone, including Holder, to go fuck themselves. And if they don't like that, the union will then tell all of them to go fuck each other.

    If a monitor is appointed, it will be a union lackey who won't do shit.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2013 @ 4:39am

    Someone should investigate Troop G of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (trooper Brad Odle, especially) for theft of property, cover-up of theft, denial of due process, and violation of constitutional rights.

     

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    Shon Gale, Jun 16th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Just another case to prove how afraid the the government is of it's own people. I would never go to New York now. Why would I ever put myself in a position to be humiliated by some ahole stopping and frisking me. Unbelievable. If that happened in my city I would move and never come back. Land of the free huh!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Really?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    OMG!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Already? Wow, you are scared!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    It's amazing how much the King of Free Internet blocks posters!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    What do certain people not want you to see?

    This! http://v.gd/3K4FAn

    So scared of the truth! It's totally awesome!

     

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