Bail In The News!

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new report is calling into question the legality of the NYPD's Stop and Frisk policy.
The study by a Columbia University law professor makes the claim that the highly-touted crime fighting tool is based on race, not crime. It's a rather damning report that challenges the NYPD's claims that stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of people every year is constitutional. The findings claim the practice is actually targeting blacks and Latinos and yields few results. To the NYPD, Its "Stop and Frisk" practice is one of its greatest crime fighting tools.
To many of those stopped, it seems like racial profiling. Now, a new report by a Columbia University Law Professor finds race may drive the policy. Professor Jeffrey Fagan analyzed 2.7 million stops made during a 6 year period and found police "often used race in lieu of reasonable suspicion" to make the stops. 7% of the time, data he says, shows police had no legal justification for the stops. 24% of the time, the stops lacked enough details to assess whether they were constitutional. "That's a huge problem and means hundreds of thousands of people are having their rights violated," said Darius Charney, of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

1,000s of NYC Stop-&-Frisks Unjustified, Law Prof Finds; City Argues He Was Paid $375/Hour to Say So
By Martha Neil — Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 ‘The ABA Journal’ / Chicago, IL 
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been stopped and frisked without adequate, documented legal justification over the past six years, a Columbia University law professor says in a study conducted for an ongoing civil rights case. In a report written for the Center for Constitutional Rights, professor Jeffrey Fagan also cites racial profiling as a common problem underlying many of the unnecessary stops, reports the New York Times. 
However, the city's police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, contends that the racial characteristics of those stopped correlates with the racial characteristics of suspects. He also says the professor was paid to come up with a study that put the New York Police Department, which is being sued by the Center for Constitutional Rights, in a bad light, the newspaper reports.

By AL BAKER and RAY RIVERA — Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 ‘The New York Times’
Tens of thousands of times over six years, the police stopped and questioned people on New York City streets without the legal justification for doing so, a new study says. And in hundreds of thousands of more cases, city officers failed to include essential details on required police forms to show whether the stops were justified, according to the study written by Prof. Jeffrey A. Fagan of Columbia Law School.

The study was conducted on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is suing the New York Police Department for what the center says is a widespread pattern of unprovoked and unnecessary stops and racial profiling in the department’s stop-question-and-frisk policy. The department denies the charges.

My last post dealt with a U.S. Virgin Islands case in which a federal judge held that the seizure of a Blackberry violated the 4th Amendment. This post is about a New York case in which a state judge held that a Blackberry was seized lawfully . . . a holding I tend to disagree with, at least in part.

We’ll start, as usual, with the facts:

[O]n January 1, 2010, [Detective DeStefano] was notified by the Lynbrook Police Department that a pedestrian robbery had occurred at 7:30 p.m., at the intersection of Nieuman Avenue and Merrick Road, in Lynbrook. . .

Many a “sick” employee, job seeker or college applicant has discovered that what happens on Facebook or Twitter often doesn’t stay on Facebook or Twitter.  Now parties to lawsuits are finding the same thing. A Suffolk County, New York trial judge recently ruled that the private areas of a plaintiff’s Facebook and  MySpace profiles could be discovered by the defendants in her personal injury suit to prove she wasn’t injured as badly as she claimed. In Romano v. Steelcase , Kathleen Romano fell off a desk chair at the college where she was employed.  She sued the manufacturer and

distributor for making a defective product, claiming permanent neck and back  injuries that  largely confined her to home or bed, and reduced her quality of life.  Yet, the public pages of her Facebook and MySpace pages showed her happily traveling to Florida and Pennsylvania during times she  claimed she was incapacitated. The defendant then requested consent from Ms. Romano to access the private sections of her social networking sites to disprove the extent of her injuries. She refused, and the defendant filed a motion to show cause why this information should not be turned over.

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