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Nation/World

November 1, 2013

Court blocks ruling on stop-frisk policy

(Continued)

It said Scheindlin needed to be removed because she ran afoul of the code of conduct for U.S. judges by misapplying a ruling that allowed her to take the case and by giving media interviews and making public statements responding to criticism.

Scheindlin said in a statement later yesterday that she consented to the interviews under the condition she wouldn’t comment on the ongoing case.

“And I did not,” she said.

She said some reporters used quotes from written opinions that gave the appearance she had commented on the case, but “a careful reading of each interview will reveal that no such comments were made.”

She also defended her decision to direct the plaintiffs to bring the case to her, saying she took the most recent case because it was related to a previous case she heard.

The 2nd Circuit said a new judge would be assigned randomly and will deal with any further rulings. It’s possible that the new judge could order a fresh set of reforms or review the trial testimony and decide the city didn’t violate people’s civil rights, but it would be highly unusual.

Stop-and-frisk has been around for decades, but recorded stops increased dramatically under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to an all-time high in 2011 of 684,330, mostly of black and Hispanic men. A lawsuit was filed in 2004 by four minority men, who said they were targeted because of their races, and it became a class-action case.

To make a stop, police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is about to occur or has occurred, a standard lower than the probable cause needed to justify an arrest. Only about 10 percent of the stops result in arrests or summonses, and weapons are found about 2 percent of the time.

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