A special federal monitor on Tuesday issued new recommendations to guide city police officers in conducting stop-and-frisk procedures and trespass arrests in public and private apartment buildings.
In a six-page letter to Manhattan federal judge Analisa Torres, attorney Peter L. Zimroth outlined his recommendation for the NYPD as part of an involved series of negotiations stemming from a 2013 a lawsuit over stop-and-frisk tactics. The case was ultimately settled by the city and various plaintiffs who had charged that NYPD stop-and-frisk tactics were unconstitutionally applied to minorities.
Zimroth said his recommendations are meant to apply to the NYPD citywide and not just in certain areas which were part of the original settlement.
Under terms of the federal court order, the NYPD had to revise its procedures for the Trespass Affidavit Program, or TAP, a system in which owners of private apartment buildings allowed police to enter, questions and, when necessary, arrest people for trespassing.
The new police procedures must state that “mere presence” at a building entry or exit point, without more, is not sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion for an officer to stop someone under suspicion of trespassing, Zimroth said in his letter.
Police policy documents and guidelines were to be changed to reflect the new understandings, Zimroth said. Torres ultimately will have to approve the recommendations.
Additional recommendations by Zimroth deal with a new form to be filed out by officers when they make trespass arrests in public housing and TAP buildings.
Zimroth also said there will be a pilot program in the Bronx for increased review by police supervisors of stops on suspicion of trespassing.
“The goal is to learn from this pilot program and then to use what is learned to inform that the program might be when instituted city-wide,” Zimroth said.
Assistant Chief Matthew Pontillo, who runs the NYPD risk assessment bureau, said the new recommendations are expected to be integrated into police training once approved.
Pontillo also told reporters in a briefing he expected Zimroth and the department to come out with new recommendations on police body cameras by late July.