REUTERS

The new mayor plans to settle the landmark case. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may have lost ground with stop-and-frisk opponents by tapping veteran lawman Bill Bratton to head the NYPD, but a decision he made today should restore his standing. Earlier this afternoon, de Blasio announced that the city will drop its appeal of last year's landmark stop-and-frisk ruling, and settle with the plaintiffs. 

The decision won't bring an end to stop and frisk, the use of which has been slowly declining since 2011, but it does signal an end of another saga—the one that began when Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled in August 2013 that the practice, as deployed by the NYPD, was unconstitutional. 

Scheindlin's ruling in Jaenean Ligon vs. City of New York and David Floyd v. City of New York infuriated former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who accused the federal judge of "display[ing] disturbing disregard for the good intentions of our police officers," and promised to appeal. Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly called the ruling "disturbing" and "offensive." The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reacted to the ruling by accusing Scheindlin of violating the code of conduct for a judge, and kicking her off the case. The appeals court also granted the city a stay, meaning the NYPD could ignore the list of remedies mandated by Scheindlin.

De Blasio's decision to halt the appeals process is him putting his money where his mouth is on stop and frisk. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association was worried de Blasio would do this, and now the group reportedly wants to be involved in settling the case. If they're not happy with today's news, it's likely they'll push back against the other reforms watchdog groups are pushing for. 

Top image: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the stop and frisk decision at a news conference in the Brownsville neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, New York January 30, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Thayer.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of shoppers in the central textile market of downtown Jakarta.
    Design

    How Cities Design Themselves

    Urban planner Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order Without Design, argues that cities are really shaped by market forces, not visionaries.

  2. A photo of an unfinished apartment building under construction in Torrance, California.
    Equity

    California's Pro-Housing YIMBYs Are Making Their Move

    The state’s lawmakers are getting serious about removing the most serious roadblock to building new affordable housing.

  3. Equity

    Why You Should Say 'Hello' to Strangers on the Street

    On sidewalk psychology. 

  4. A pupil works on a cardboard architectural model at a Hong Kong primary school.
    Design

    The Case for Architecture Classes in Schools

    Through the organization Architecture for Children, Hong Kong architect Vicky Chan has taught urban design and planning to thousands of kids. Here’s why.

  5. A photo of Andrew Field, the owner of Rockaway Taco, looking out from his store in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York.
    Life

    Tacos and Transit: Rate Your City

    From taco-rich San Diego to the tortilla wastelands of Boston, we asked you to grade U.S. cities on two critical metrics: Mexican food and public transportation.