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City to Drop Stop-and-Frisk Appeal, Mayor Says

By Ben Fractenberg | January 30, 2014 4:21pm
 Mayor Bill de Blasio — flanked by (l-r) Center for Constitutional Rights executive director Vincent Warren, New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman, activist Nicholas Peart, Police Commissioner William Bratton and incoming Corporation Counsel Zach Carter — announces the city's eventual drop of its appeal against a federal stop-and-frisk ruling during a press conference in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Jan. 30, 2014. 
Mayor Bill de Blasio — flanked by (l-r) Center for Constitutional Rights executive director Vincent Warren, New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman, activist Nicholas Peart, Police Commissioner William Bratton and incoming Corporation Counsel Zach Carter — announces the city's eventual drop of its appeal against a federal stop-and-frisk ruling during a press conference in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Jan. 30, 2014. 
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

BROWNSVILLE — The years-long legal battle between the city and civil rights lawyers over the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk is coming to an end.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, standing alongside Police Commissioner William Bratton and civil rights leaders, said Thursday the city would drop its appeal of Judge Shira Scheindlin's stop-and-frisk ruling once an agreement on how to reform the practice is ratified by the federal district court.

"This will be one city where everyone rises together, where everyone's rights will be respected," de Blasio said during an afternoon press conference at the Brownsville Recreation Center.

There are no firm dates on when the appeal will be dropped as specifics on how reforms will be put in place are still being negotiated, city leaders said.

The city and civil rights lawyers also agreed that a federal monitor would oversee the reforms for three years.

Standing with the civil rights and city leaders was a young man whose 2011 op-ed about being stopped and frisked on his birthday brought a lot of attention to the issue.

"This has been years in the making," Nicholas Peart, 25, told DNAinfo New York after the press conference.

Peart added that he had been stopped at least five times since he was a teenager, including when he was celebrating his 18th birthday in the Upper West Side.

"You feel embarrassed, criminalized," he said about the experience. "It's just humiliating when it happens at a young age."

In another sign of political change Bratton welcomed reform, which he said would improve community relations and officer moral.

"This is what democratic process is supposed to do," the police chief said.

Center for Constitutional Rights executive director Vincent Warren, whose organization represented the plaintiffs in the federal case, said he was ready to start the process for "lasting concrete change."

New York Civil Liberties Union director Donna Lieberman gave de Blasio a big smile as she approached the lectern to speak.

Lieberman said she believed in the "good will and good intentions of the new administration."

Flashing another smile she added, "What a change."