Class action status = big trouble for NYPD

Federal district court judge Shira Scheindlin changed the game yesterday by granting plaintiff’s motion for class certification in their challenge of the city’s stop & frisk practices.

To certify the class, Scheindlin had to make an important, substantive finding – that “the unlawful stops of putative class members result from a common source: the department’s policy of establishing performance standards and demanding increased levels of stops and frisks.”  A good story in today’s New York Law Journal, linking to the the opinion  Floyd v. City of New York, 08 Civ. 1034  and to both sides’ briefs.

This case was filed in 2008 by the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has used the intervening years to build a Communities United for Police Reform, a coalition among the communities affected by NYPD’s aggressive (and apparently illegal) stop & frisk practices.

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