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Judge Shira Removed From Stop-and-Frisk Case



Scheindlin claims that the NYPD has unconstitutionally targeted minorities with its stop-and-frisk policy.

Scheindlin claims that the NYPD has unconstitutionally targeted minorities with its stop-and-frisk policy.

Scheindlin claims that the NYPD has unconstitutionally targeted minorities with its stop-and-frisk policy.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin was removed from the NYPD stop-and-frisk case at the end of last month because she allegedly gave off a biased appearance, according to Newsday. Judge Shira’s order in which she named a monitor to carry out reforms related to the case did not go into effect, and she has recently asked for a hearing before an appeals court panel to challenge her removal from the case, according to the aforementioned report.

“She wants an opportunity to be heard,” said Burt Neuborne of NYU Law School, who filed the motion for the appeals court hearing, Newsday further reported. “She wants to file papers questioning the procedural fairness and the substantive adequacy of the removal order.”

“With respect, the undersigned counsel believes that the [Second Circuit’s] order of removal raises troubling issues warranting reconsideration by the ..panel, or … review by the full Circuit, on both substantive and procedural grounds,” Scheindlin’s team generally contended in a 15 page brief to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, according to The New York Post.

Scheindlin believes that some of the NYPD’s stops were unconstitutional in the past and had set out to implement such reforms prior to her removal, the aforementioned report also added. Specifically, Scheindlin asserted that the police stops targeted minorities, according to the report.

The “biasedness” for which Scheindlin was accused stemmed from the fact that in the time after she had agreed to take the relevant cases in 2007, she had agreed to give news interviews, and that such interviews had most certainly impaired her ability to impartially judge the case, Newsday explained.

“We conclude that the District Judge ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, and that the appearance of impartiality surrounding this litigation was compromised,” wrote the appeals panel that initially removed Scheindlin from the case, Newsday further reported.

The removal of Scheindlin was considered a victory for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has asserted that the NYPD’s execution of the policy has contributed significantly to crime reduction in the City, Reuters reported. On the contrary, it was seen as a defeat to the racial minorities in the City who complain they are unfairly targeted by the current stop-and-frisk policy practiced by the NYPD.

New York City’s mayor-elect, Bill de Blasio, similarly expressed discontent with Scheindlin’s removal.

“We have to end the overuse of stop-and-frisk and any delay only means a continued and unnecessary rift between our police and the people they protect,” he said, Reuters further reported.

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