Judge Shira Sheindlin has earned a reputation as an outspoken defender of civil liberties and a recurring foil for the New York City police. In her ruling in the closely watched stop-and-frisk case, Scheindlin criticized the police and said the department discriminated against blacks and Latinos. She also said the police force has long ignored complaints about the way the tactic has been carried out. (Since this policy was implemented, the overwhelming number of the 4 million people stopped by police since the program began have been black or Latino. In 2011, the number of stops of black men aged 14-24 actually exceeded the city’s total population of black men in that age group.) The city has argued that the tactic has helped drive down violent crime. But Scheindlin reiterated that her concern wasn’t about the policy’s effectiveness but its constitutionality.
In her pointed, 190-page opinion on the trial, Schiendlin deemed the prevailing practice of stop-and-frisk unconstitutional and tantamount to racial profiling. She also quoted President Obama’s remarks in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman in which he talked about his experiences being profiled and extensively cited the testimony of several police whistleblowers who said their superiors pressured them into making baseless stops.
Here are some of the most important segments from her ruling.