NY Stop-And-Frisk Deal Lifts Hope For More Settlements

Source: Larry Neumeister / AP / theGrio

NEW YORK  — The goodwill surrounding a deal to resolve how New York City carries out its stop-and-frisk crime-reducing tool is raising hopes that the new mayor will amicably resolve other disputes that have spilled into the courts as well, including the police department’s eavesdropping in Muslim communities.

A judge presiding over a 44-year-old civil rights case in Manhattan voiced optimism, or at least wishful thinking, and civil rights lawyers are lining up to test the limits of how far Mayor Bill de Blasio will go to settle cases that sometimes challenge the balance between preserving public safety and protecting civil rights. De Blasio had made reforming stop-and-frisk a centerpiece of his campaign and had promised to make a decisive break with some of the positions of his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.

“While this is clearly a new day and a new administration, time will tell as to whether some of these other controversies in which we are engaged will be resolved,” Arthur Eisenberg, legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said Friday.

The new administration has already signaled it hopes to settle a $250 million lawsuit filed on behalf of five black and Hispanic people convicted in 1990 of raping and beating a white woman jogging in the park a year earlier. After serving six to 13 years in prison, their convictions were tossed in 2002 when evidence emerged linking someone else to the crime.

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