The first remedial measures from the stop-and-frisk litigation in New York City are beginning to trickle down from the courts to local police precincts.

In response to a Southern District judge’s finding of widespread violations in the way the police officers conducted civilian stops on the street in certain minority neighborhoods and apartment buildings, the NYPD is in the process of reading to its rank and file at roll call to messages that stress constitutional standards for police encounters with citizens.

One of the memos explains that officers making stops needed “individualized, reasonable suspicion” that the person being stopped is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a felony or misdemeanor. Importantly, the memo cautions that by themselves, “furtive movements” or presence in a high crime area are insufficient for a stop.

The memos discuss the parameters of basic police-citizen encounters as well as the necessary amount of information required before an officer questions, detains, frisks, searches, or arrests someone.

If you or someone you know has been arrested after having been illegally stopped or searched and is seeking legal advice, our office has recently been joined by the Honorable Barry Kamins, former Administrating Judge for the Criminal Court of New York City, who was interviewed by the New York Law Journal regarding the above article, and who is also the author of New York Search and Seizure.


Source: New York Law Journal

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