Federal appeals panel stops stop-and-frisk changes

Oct. 31, 2013 at 5:24 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court Thursday blocked changes in the New York police department's stop-and-frisk program and removed the trial judge from the case.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled in August the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk practices violated the Fourth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution -- by targeting mostly black and minority males -- and gave a monitor the job of overseeing reforms.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday chastised Scheindlin for making public statements and giving media interviews in a pending case and ordered the stop-and-frisk lawsuit to be assigned to another judge, The New York Times reported.

Scheindlin was assigned the stop-and-frisk case in 2008.

The ruling halts changes in the controversial program ordered by Scheindlin, who was removed by the appellate court panel for compromising the "appearance of partiality surrounding this litigation," the court said in a two-page order. "Upon review of the record in these cases, we conclude that the District Judge ran afoul of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 2 [A judge should avoid the appearance of impropriety in all activities]."

The ruling halted all proceedings in the case.

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