MANHATTAN — The Bloomberg Administration continued its effort to overturn a federal judge's ruling reigning in the police department's stop-and-frisk policy, despite mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's promise to curb the tactic when he takes office on Jan. 1.
The city law department announced Thursday that it would ask a federal appeals court to vacate a decision by Judge Shira Scheindlin finding the police department violated the rights of millions of New Yorkers by stopping them without reasonable suspicion. She also ordered a federal monitor to oversee several department reforms.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals removed Scheindlin from the case last week for ethical reasons, but did not reverse her ruling.
"In light of the Circuit Court's determination that the actions of Judge Scheindlin 'ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges' and compromised 'the appearance of impartiality,' the City will file a motion in that Court by early next week asking it to immediately vacate Judge Scheindlin's rulings," a New York City Law Department spokeswoman said Thursday.
De Blasio recently said he was "extremely disappointed" over a federal appeals court decision to remove Scheindlin from the case and put a stay on sweeping changes to the tactic.
Scheindlin's ruling did not end stop-and-frisk, but would place a great burden on officers to prove reasonable suspicion when making a stop and imposed a federal monitor to oversee the department's practices.
The mayor-elect has said he does not support the city's appeal.
"We shouldn't have to wait for reforms that both keep our communities safe and obey the Constitution," de Blasio said after the federal appeals court ruling. "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."
The city's police unions filed court papers Thursday to intervene in the case should the city drop its appeal after de Blasio takes office.
“In order to ensure that our members have a voice in this critically important proceeding we are filing a motion to intervene in the second circuit court of appeals today,” said Patrolmen's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch in a statement.
It is not clear whether the PBA would have standing to appeal.
A spokeswoman for the Center for Constitution Rights, which brought the case against stop-and-frisk, said they are not commenting until the city actually files the motion.