Officers are now prohibited from conducting stops solely based on “furtive movements or mere presence in a high crime area,” according to the new rules released on Monday.
“In order to conduct a stop, an officer must have individualized, reasonable suspicion that the person stopped has committed, is committing or is about to commit a felony or penal law misdemeanor,” the guidelines state.
The new rules were issued more than a year after Manhattan Federal Court Judge Shira Scheindlin declared that the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisks violated New Yorkers’ constitutional rights.
People also can no longer be stopped because they match a vague description of a suspect, the memo states.
“The officer must have an independent basis to reasonably suspect that a person who has been stopped is armed and dangerous in order to frisk that person,” according to the rules.
Officers involved in stops must be able to articulate why they conducted the stop. It can’t be solely based on a hunch, according to the guidelines.
The rules reiterate that racial profiling is prohibited by the constitution.
“Race may only be considered where the stop is based on a specific and reliable suspect description that includes not just race, but other identifying characteristics,” according to the rules.
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch blasted the new rules, saying they make officers’ jobs next to impossible.
“Police officers are going to have to travel with an attorney just to interpret these new stop and frisk regulations,” Lynch said in a statement.
“Once again the department and courts are putting responsibility for the problem that they created with illegal activity quotas on the shoulders of our members. The end result is making a difficult job more difficult and dangerous for members.”