"My object here is only to clarify what the law permitsand does not permitan officer to do when initiating and conducting a stop and frisk of people in the public areas of certain privately owned buildings in the Bronx," she said.
The law, she said, quoting the U.S. Supreme Court in Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119 (2000), and Alabama v. White, 496 U.S. 325 (1990), is this: "In order for an officer to have 'reasonable suspicion' that an individual is engaged in criminal trespass, the officer must be able to articulate facts providing 'a minimal level of objective justification for making the stop,' which means 'something more than an inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or hunch.'
"In particular, an individual observed exiting or entering a TAP building does not establish reasonable suspicion of trespass, even if the building is located in a high crime area, regardless of the time of day," the judge said, and the making of a "furtive movement" by a subjecta basis commonly cited by officers on their UF 250 formsdoes not, by itself, make for reasonable suspicion.
Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union, one of several lawyers for the plaintiffs, said Scheindlin "has stated loudly and clearly that a major part of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program is unconstitutional and that the time has come for the courts to order a halt to illegal stops."
The parties have until Feb. 22 to make submissions on remedies.
Mark Zuckerman, senior counsel at the Law Department, is leading the city's defense.
Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said in a statement that his office disagrees with the judge's interpretation of "well-established case law."
"The decision proposes remedial steps that would place an unacceptable burden on the NYPD to adopt additional training, supervision, monitoring and reporting requirements," he said. "We believe that court testimony demonstrated the NYPD already has more than adequate safeguards in place to ensure that its patrols of Clean Halls buildings are lawful. Indeed, the plaintiffs conceded that the department's own training, supervision and monitoring programs provided the 'template' for the relief the plaintiffs were seeking."
@|Mark Hamblett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.