A judge’s ruling Wednesday on a request to authorize a class action lawsuit over the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) use of “stop-and-frisk” searches could see more than 1 million people line up to file claims against the department for violating their constitutional rights.
While it’s not likely to attract that many plaintiffs, people who were illegally searched in New York City any time after January 5, 2005 are eligible to join the lawsuit. [...]
“The Court has rightly recognized that illegal stops-and-frisks are not limited to a few rogue police officers but are the product of a program designed at the highest level of the police department and affect hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of New Yorkers,” Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Darius Charney explained in a prepared statement. “As a result of today’s ruling, all those for whom this practice is a daily reality will now have an opportunity to challenge it as a violation of their fundamental constitutional rights and to ask the Court to order real changes in NYPD stop-and-frisk policy.”
Of course, assuming that the lawsuit is successful, it’s the taxpayers who pay and the lawyers to get paid, but still, it has a chance to force change in a department (and Mayor) who clearly are uninterested in considering the existence of Fourth Amendment rights for brown (or poor) people.