New York’s police unions cannot challenge a sweeping settlement over the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk police tactic, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday, clearing the way for reforms to take effect.
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in New York denied the unions’ request to intervene in two stop-and-frisk class action lawsuits, saying they lacked standing to pursue an appeal that Mayor Bill de Blasio has already decided to abandon.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that the hundreds of thousands of stop-and-frisk encounters each year largely affect minorities and amounted to a form of illegal racial profiling. Scheindlin ordered various reforms, including a federal monitor to oversee departmental changes.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who left office at the end of 2013, had appealed the ruling and defended the practice as essential to public safety. But de Blasio, who campaigned on putting an end to stop-and-frisk, said in January he would drop the appeal and agree to Scheindlin’s reforms.
The unions sought to continue the appeal on behalf of their members, arguing that the ruling had hurt police officers’ reputations and that the proposed reforms could impede their ability to do their jobs.