New York City police unions have joined the legal battle to appeal a federal judge’s 2013 decision that found the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional.
It was back in August of 2013 that Manhattan U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin found major issue with the NYPD’s 4.4 million stops over the span of eight years.
A troubling 80 percent of the stops were Blacks or Hispanics.
Blacks and Hispanics also made up more than half of the frisks.
Based on these and numerous other statistics and reports, Scheindlin found the stop-and-frisk policy to be a major violation of the Fourth and 14th Amendments.
The Associated Press reported that lawyers for the unions appeared before U.S. appeals court judges Wednesday.
According to News Day, the judges were sure to point out the fact that city officials were ready to start implementing changes to the police force, but the police unions’ last-ditch efforts to appeal the stop-and-frisk ban is slowing progress.
“Who controls the police department,” Judge Barrington Parker of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asked one of the lawyers representing the Captains Endowment Association. “Is it your client, or the commissioner?”
Judge John Walker Jr. added, “You can’t rewind the clock to what it was before the de Blasio administration took office.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio has remained adamant about making attempts to fix many of the racially charged issues that have tarnished the NYPD’s reputation.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg initially launched the appeal of the 2013 stop-and-frisk ban but de Blasio dropped the appeal when he took office in January.
Parker also said that he believed the unions were stepping forward with ulterior motives that didn’t really concern what was best for the city and its residents.
“You’re using this to try to accumulate chips when you go back to the bargaining table,” he said, according to News Day.
Meanwhile, de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton are eager to start the reform process.
If the unions lose their chance to appeal the stop-and-frisk ban, the reform process will be ready to begin and will be overseen by Judge Analisa Torres, who has taken over from Scheindlin.