In an act of desperation, the city of New York has used the media to launch a "despicable" attack on the federal judge presiding over a landmark stop-and-frisk trial, attorneys for the plaintiffs say.
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Early Wednesday morning, the New York Daily News published a story describing an internal report compiled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's staff that purports to show that judge Shira Scheindlin is "biased against law enforcement."
By lunchtime, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the plaintiffs, had fired off a response, calling the report an "inappropriate stunt."
Following court yesterday afternoon, Darius Charney, one of CCR's lead attorneys on the case, said the allegations achieved a level of absurdity he has never encountered before.
"I've heard some ridiculous, outrageous accusations thrown out by the city over the years," Charney said. "But this is the most ridiculous one I've ever heard, and I actually find it despicable."
The report's emergence coincides with the final week of testimony in the trial. From 2004 to 2012 the department reported 4.4 million stops; nearly nine out of 10 the subjects, the vast majority of whom were black or Latino, were released without an arrest or summons. Plaintiffs in the case say the stops have amounted to widespread constitutional rights violations, including unlawful search and seizure and racial profiling.