The NYCLU Campaign
Achieving fair and just policing for all New Yorkers has been a cornerstone of the NYCLU’s work for decades. This year, the NYCLU’s Police Reform Project has played a driving role in the momentous movement to reform the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices.
The NYCLU and leading police reform advocates in New York City have united to achieve fair and dignified policing under a new campaign, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR). The campaign – which has quickly become the premier police reform campaign in New York – is pursuing an aggressive, integrated program of policy reform, research, public education, organizing, and litigation to achieve major reforms to NYPD policies and practices over the next several years. You can learn more about Communities United for Police Reform at www.changethenypd.org.
This year NYCLU, along with CPR, worked with City Councilmember Jumaane Williams to introduce a legislative package to crack down on discriminatory police practices. The package, named the Community Safety Act, consists of four landmark police reform bills aimed at ending discriminatory policing and bringing real accountability to the NYPD. To learn more about the legislation, click here.
In May 2011, the NYCLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s unlawful practice of detaining, questioning and searching innocent New Yorkers who are riding in livery cars. The NYPD uses its Taxi/Livery Inspection Program (TRIP) to expand the reach of its stop-and-frisk practices. On May 15, 2012 the case reached a settlement, under which NYPD officers have been instructed not to question, frisk, search or demand identification from livery passengers unless the officer has independent suspicion of criminal behavior.
In March 2012, the NYCLU, along with LatinoJustice PRLDEF and The Bronx Defenders, filed a federal class-action lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s Operation Clean Halls program, a part of the department’s stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol thousands of private apartment buildings across New York City. The Clean Halls program violates the rights of residents of those buildings and their guests – largely black and Latino New Yorkers. The NYCLU created videos documenting the detrimental consequences that Operation Clean Halls has on the everyday lives of impacted New Yorkers. The case is currently in the discovery phase of litigation.
SQF Analysis & Report
In May 2012, the NYCLU released our stop-and-frisk report, the most comprehensive public analysis ever done on NYPD stop-and-frisk activity. The report is based on new and, until now, unanalyzed data from the NYPD’s 2011 computerized stop-and-frisk database. The NYCLU’s analysis examines multiple aspects of the 2011 stop-and-frisk data, including stops, frisks, use of force, recovery of weapons, location of stops, reason for stops, and age, sex and race of people stopped as well as detailed information at a precinct level and a close examination of race-related aspects of stop-and-frisk practices. The report can be viewed here.
Stop and Frisk Watch App
To support our efforts to document stop-and-frisk activities and consequences, the NYCLU unveiled a free and innovative smart phone application that will empower New Yorkers to monitor police activity and hold the NYPD accountable for unlawful stop-and-frisk encounters and other police misconduct. The application allows witnesses of stop-and-frisk police encounters to capture an audio and video recording of the encounter and then provide the NYCLU with additional details about the incident.