On Hot 97, Bill de Blasio Talks Dropping the Stop-and-Frisk Appeal and Dante's "Extraordinary" Fro

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The fro in question, in case you'd forgotten.
In a news conference yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced what he's been promising since he was a candidate: an end to New York City's ongoing legal battle to stop and frisk with impunity. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city had been appealing a decision by Federal District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, which called the practice unconstitutional, and which ordered that an independent monitor be appointed to reform the department's stop-and-frisk policies; separately, the New York City Council voted to create an inspector general's position for the department.

In an interview this morning with Peter Rosenberg and Ebro, Hot 97's morning show hosts, de Blasio called stop-and-frisk "a broken policy," and promised "an entirely different approach" to fighting crime.

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Stop-and-Frisk Is Still Unconstitutional, Says Federal Appellate Court

Categories: Stop and Frisk

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Wikimedia Commons
Judge Shira Scheindlin in oil, we think?
The endless volley between Mayor Bloomberg and appeals courts is over: On Friday morning, a federal appellate court denied the city's motion to vacate U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional. The ruling detonates Bloomberg's last hope of overturning the ruling before Bill de Blasio takes office January 1.

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Report Commissioned by Barneys Says Barneys Did Nothing Wrong In Alleged "Shop and Frisk" Incidents

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Image via Facebook
Trayon Christian
At the end of last month, luxury department store Barneys found itself facing the wrong kind of publicity, when a black teenager named Trayon Christian said he'd been racially profiled there, detained after buying a belt that someone decided looked too expensive for him. Christian sued the store and the New York Police Department; then 21-year-old Kayla Phillips came forward, shared her own experience of being profiled after buying an expensive handbag, and announced her own plans to sue.

In response, Barneys met with the Reverend Al Sharpton and the Brooklyn chapter of his anti-racist National Action Network and promised to bring in a civil-rights expert, Michael Yaki, who Barneys CEO Mark Lee said would be provided with "with unrestricted access to all aspects of our store operations."

Now Yaki has completed his preliminary report about the Christian and Phillips incidents. And -- surprise! -- it concludes that Barneys "did not request, require, nor initiate" the detainment of either Christian or Phillips. Instead it places the blame on the NYPD.

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Only One in 50 Stop-and-Frisk Arrests Lead to Violent Crime Convictions, Says Attorney General

Categories: Stop and Frisk

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Flickr/David Shankbone
Even Spider-Man says so.
Stop-and-frisk is an ineffective, wasteful, sinister program, and now there's data to prove it. New York's Attorney General released a report on Thursday describing in painful detail just how profound a policy failing NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly's pet program is. (The Village Voice would venture that's a moral failing, too, but we're waiting for someone to design that study.) Get this: Only one in 50 stop-and-frisk arrests results in convictions for violent crimes. It's the same figure for weapons possession convictions -- that's 0.1 percent of all stops made.


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On Talk Radio, Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly Do a Stop-and-Frisk Victory Lap

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Michael Bloomberg
After yesterday's announcement that Judge Shira Scheindlin has been removed from the stop and frisk case Floyd v. City of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly were feeling pretty satisfied. We know that because they appeared promptly on WOR 710, a news talk radio station, this morning, to pronounce themselves -- and the philosophy behind stop-and-frisk -- vindicated.

"We're very satisfied with the ruling," Bloomberg told host John Gambling. "It says basically that Commissioner Kelly can run the department the way he's been running it with my approval and support for the last 12 years, and bringing crime down." The mayor added that it was also a victory for the city's police officers: "A majority of them are black and Hispanic. They have had their names dragged through the mud over the last year. I think they deserve a lot better than that."

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Appeals Court Blocks Judge Shira Scheindlin's Stop-and-Frisk Ruling, Removes Her From Case

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Image via Wikimedia Commons
Judge Shira Scheindlin
That whooshing sound you just heard are eyebrows shooting to hairlines on reporters' heads all over the city. That's because the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has just blocked Judge Shira Scheindlin's order for the NYPD to make significant changes to its stop-and-frisk policy, and ordered the judge removed from case, saying that she violated the code of conduct governing the behavior of sitting judges.

On August 12, Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD had violated the constitutional rights of 19 New Yorkers who were stopped and frisked, because they were stopped "without a legal basis," violating the Fourth Amendment, and targeted because of their race, violating the Fourteenth. She ordered that an independent monitor be created to oversee the department, and ruled that the city had "acted with deliberate indifference to constitutional deprivations caused by its employees," i.e. the police. Mayor Bloomberg promptly appealed the ruling.

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As Racism Charges Mount, Barneys Agrees to Meet With Civil Rights Group & Jay Z Defends His Work With the Store

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Image via Barneys
A $12,500 limited edition double knuckle ring, a collaboration between Hoorsenbuhs and Jay Z.
Barneys is having a horrendous week. You can tell by their press releases, which started out rather snippy and have escalated rapidly into something that looks a lot like panic. Last Thursday, 19-year-old Trayon Christian filed a lawsuit alleging he was racially profiled at the famed Madison Avenue department store, detained by undercover cops after buying a designer belt that store employees apparently didn't believe he could afford. As the story picked up steam, Barneys issued a statement, flatly denying Christian's charges, and adding that the store stood by "our long history in support of all human rights."

Then Kayla Phillips came forward. She's a 21-year-old woman, who, like Christian, is black, and who says she found herself swarmed by police after buying a $2,500 handbag at Barneys.

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Barneys: "No Employee" Was Involved in Detainment of Belt-Buying Black Teen Trayon Christian

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Image via Facebook
Trayon Christian
"If you're a nice person and you work hard, you get to go shopping at Barneys. It's the decadent reward." That is, apparently, what Sarah Jessica Parker once told Vanity Fair, and the store proudly uses the quote as its Twitter bio. It's taken on an unpleasantly ironic twinge in the last day, however, after a black teenager named Trayon Christian filed a lawsuit against the store, the city, and the NYPD, saying he was hassled and detained by police after purchasing a $349 Ferragamo belt. The lawsuit quickly went viral, and now Barneys is attempting to do a little damage control.

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New York Post Slams Stop/Frisk Panel, Makes Panel Member Chuckle

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C.S. Muncy
One of the law professors named to an advisory council in connection with the independent federal monitor of the police department's stop and frisk strategy says she laughed out loud when she saw today's New York Post story which dubbed the panel a bunch of "clowns."


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Every Stop-And-Frisk Performed In New York Last Year, By Race And Location

Categories: Stop and Frisk

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A map of all 532,911 Stop and Frisks, broken down by race
The NYPD performed 532,911 stop-and-frisks in 2012, and for each stop an officer wrote a report. Every three months, when the reports are released, the New York Civil Liberties Union collects the information in a database.

In addition to things like race, gender, date, and time, "the data include the age of person stopped, if a person was frisked, if there was a weapon or firearm recovered, if physical force was used, and the exact location of the stop within the precinct," the NYCLU says, and it can be mined or visualized.

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