Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsNew York

Stop and frisk decision has NYC lawyers hammering out appeal strategy

City lawyers were closeted Tuesday figuring out how and when to appeal Monday's ruling by a federal judge, who found the NYPD's stop and frisk policies unconstitutional and ordered the appointment of a monitor to oversee changes in the practice, a legal source said.

An angry Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to appeal Judge Shira A. Scheindlin's decision, saying her ruling was a "dangerous" one for the city.

The city's top lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said Monday he would likely wait for the new monitor, former prosecutor Peter Zimroth, to issue some kind of directive before the city requests a stay of Scheindlin's decision while an appeal is pending. Cardozo didn't offer a timetable for an appeal or say if he would seek an expedited schedule.

A spokeswoman for Cardozo couldn't comment Tuesday about when an appeal would be filed or whether a request would be made for an expedited hearing.

The issues of policing continue to resonate with Democratic voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday and taken just before Scheindlin's ruling.

Likely Democratic voters support -- 66 percent to 25 percent -- the creation of a permanent inspector general, currently proposed by the City Council, to independently monitor the New York Police Department, the poll showed.

Some 60 percent of likely Democratic primary voters also said the stop and frisk policy is excessive.

Professor Franklin Zimring, of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, said civility would help the New York situation.

"The question of how to balance security needs and civility in policing is ultimately a question of police management," Zimring told Newsday Tuesday.

Along with Zimroth's appointment, Scheindlin ordered new training and called for the NYPD to start a pilot program of body cameras for officers in precincts with the highest number of stops in 2012 in each of the five boroughs to record police activity. NYPD records show that those precincts include: The 75th in East New York, Brooklyn; the 44th in Highbridge-Morrisania, Bronx; the 34th in Washington Heights, Manhattan; the 109th covering Flushing, Whitestone and College Point, Queens; and 120th in northern Staten Island.

A spokesman for Taser International, a major supplier of such cameras, said they are gaining credence with many police departments.

"You have to look at it that you are protecting yourself," company spokesman Steve Tuttle said. He said the company has supplied cameras ranging from $299 to $950 that can be worn on helmets, lapels or glasses to hundreds of departments.

"I think within the next five years, everyone will be wearing a body camera," Austin, Texas, police chief Bill Acevedo said in a recent critical issues publication of the nonprofit Police Executive Research Foundation.

More news