Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday the city will move to drop the appeal in the historic stop-and-frisk case. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which has fought changes in stop-and-frisk, said it will continue to explore legal avenues to protect their members from the remedies suggested in the court ruling.
“We continue to have serious concerns about how these remedies will impact our members and the ability to do their jobs,”said PBA Patrick Lynch. “Our goal is to continue to be involved in the process in order to give voice to our members and to make every effort to ensure that their rights are protected.”
The PBA made a motion in federal court requesting intervener status which would allow them to have input on the proposed remedies. The motion was never rued on because Judge Shira Scheindlin was removed from the case. If the case heads back to district court, the PBA will argue their motion should be granted.
“If there are going to be hearings, we want to be involved because our members are going to be directly impacted,” said PBA spokesman Al O’Leary by phone Thursday. “If they don’t accept it and there are going to be hearings, we will continue to fight for intervener status.”
O’Leary mentioned work procedures and privacy issues were a few of the remedies they had issue with, adding some of them should be collectively bargained.
In Judge Scheindlin’s original ruling, which de Blasio said the city would accept as a part of the deal, officers would be required to wear cameras. The ruling suggested a pilot program in areas that had high stop-and-frisk numbers. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who attended the press conference announcing the decision to drop the appeal, showed support for the use of cameras on his officers. “American policing, in its totality, is moving very quickly in that direction,” Bratton said. “This is not a new concept. It has been underway for a couple of years.”
Bratton added New York City would benefit from seeing how other cities had implemented the use of cameras on their officers.
City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who has played a key role in the effort to reform the use of stop-and-frisk in the city, and was lead sponsor of the Community Safety Act, which, among other things, established an inspector general for the NYPD, argued that the actions by the PBA were counterproductive.
“They should abandon those efforts. In fact, the remedies outlined in Floyd will help clear up any confusion about stop-and-frisk,” Williams said in a statement.
When asked about the union’s objections, Mayor de Blasio pointed to the advocates who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his police commissioner on stage at the announcement.
“I think this represents an extraordinary step forward and I think there is a lot of unity here,” de Blasio said. “I would hope other parties out there would see this is a constructive step and one that is going to work ad would honor that.