The city filed a short notice of appeal Friday to challenge a federal judge's ruling earlier this week that found the NYPD had unconstitutionally applied its stop-and-frisk practices against minorities.
The one-page document filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit begins a process that could move quickly, given that the issue is one of major public importance. More extensive legal briefs must be filed in the coming weeks by the city and the plaintiffs, who initially sued over the stop-and-frisk practices.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan ruled that NYPD practices on stop-and-frisk violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and appointed a monitor to oversee reforms in the procedures. She didn't order a halt to stop and frisk, which the U.S. Supreme Court has found constitutional and proper.
"We have moved ahead with our formal filings," said city corporation counsel Michael A. Cardozo. "The mayor, the police commissioner and the city vowed to press forward immediately with an appeal -- and we have done so. The safety of all New Yorkers is at stake."
While federal appeals can take months, some legal experts think the serious public policy issues in the case would prompt the court to take it on an expedited basis, with a decision possible before the November general election.
The only mayoral candidate to weigh in with a comment Friday on the appeal was Republican hopeful Joe Lhota, who applauded the move. Lhota criticized Scheindlin's decision as based "on misguided logic and a narrow scope of unsubstantiated evidence."
The city also filed a notice of appeal in a related case involving trespass enforcement policies in private apartment buildings where landlords have given permission for the NYPD to enter common areas.