Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday that New York City had reached an agreement with civil rights lawyers who had challenged the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices, which would allow the sweeping reforms ordered by a federal judge last summer to be carried out, the New York Times reports.
Those changes, which included the appointment of a federal monitor, were blocked last fall after the Bloomberg administration appealed the judge’s rulings, which found that the city’s stop-and-frisk policies were unconstitutional and that the department had resorted to “a policy of indirect racial profiling.”
The judge, Shira A. Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan, had ruled that the policy resulted in “the disproportionate and discriminatory stopping of blacks and Hispanics in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.”
But on Thursday, Mayor de Blasio, seeking to fulfill a long-stated campaign pledge that helped to propel his landslide victory, said his administration had taken a major step toward resolving the polarizing dispute that for years had strained relations between the police and minorities.
Antwan Whitlock, 35, of Union Township, allegedly slashed an officer with a knife in late December, officials said. He was later hit with a Taser and stabbed himself in the chest, although he was not hit when officers fired at him after the alleged knife attack, according to the state attorney general’s office.