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Judge: Police unions can play role in NYPD stop-and-frisk reforms

Members of the NYPD march in the 245th

Members of the NYPD march in the 245th Annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

A Manhattan federal judge ruled Thursday that two of the city's largest police unions should be able to play a role in reforming the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practices.

Judge Analisa Torres, in a two-page decision, allowed the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and Sergeants Benevolent Association to review proposals and offer input.

PBA President Patrick Lynch praised the decision and said the union will be closely involved in the process. Officials at the SBA couldn't be reached.

The unions filed court papers earlier this month asking that they be allowed to participate.

In her decision, Torres allowed the unions to review the city's recommendations before they are sent to a special court-appointed monitor for final consideration.

"This approach affords the unions 'a practical opportunity' to inform the monitor of their viewpoints before the monitor reaches conclusions and submits final recommendations to the court," Torres wrote.

The monitor was appointed as a result of an August 2013 decision by Judge Shira Scheindlin in which she found that NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk appeared to violate the constitutional rights of minorities.

Scheindlin ordered a number of reforms, including better police training and a pilot program testing officer body cameras.

Scheindlin was removed from the case by an appeals court panel in October 2013, in part because of comments she made in a news interview and what appeared to be her maneuvering to get the case.

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