12 21 2014
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protesters

Attorneys for New York City asked a federal appeals court Saturday to void the order issued in August that required the New York Police Department to change its stop-and-frisk policy.

The city's request was made to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. It asked the appeals court to vacate U.S District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin's rulings because they "continue unfairly and improperly to cloud the public's perception" of the New York Police Department.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court removed Scheindlin from the case in October because she appeared to be biased, jeopardizing "the appearance of partiality ... by a series of media interviews and public statements purporting to respond publicly to criticism of the District Court."

The appeals court cited three interviews with the New York Law Journal, The Associated Press and The New Yorker in which Scheindlin spoke about her personal beliefs on the issue and defended her decision.

In August, Scheindlin ordered that the stop-and-frisk policy be altered, finding that it is unconstitutional in part because it unlawfully targets blacks and Latinos.

City officials had bristled at the contention that police racially profile suspects and appealed the ruling.

Scheindlin ruled that the policy violated the plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches, finding that police made at least 200,000 stops from 2004 to June 2012 without reasonable suspicion. She also found evidence of racial profiling, which violated the plaintiffs' 14th Amendment rights guaranteeing equal protection.

The lower court ruling to change stop-and-frisk is on hold while the city's appeal proceeds. Scheindlin is challenging her removal from the litigation.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio opposes stop-and-frisk and has said publicly that he would drop the city's appeal of Scheindlin's ruling.

The stop-and-frisk policy -- in which police stop, question and frisk people they deem suspicious, even if they've committed no crime -- has been one of the most controversial policing techniques in recent times. Civil rights and civil liberties groups challenge the practice as racist and illegal. Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, law enforcement and other proponents say the policy reduces crime.

CNN's Chris Boyette, Michael Martinez and Elizabeth Landers contributed to this report.

 

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