NYPD Union Suit to Preserve Stop-Frisk Rejected

NEW YORK (AP) -

Police unions lost their bid Wednesday to challenge a ruling concluding that New York City’s stop-and-frisk tactics are sometimes discriminatory, moving the city a step closer toward changing the program, which has won praise for its role in reducing crime but drawn criticism for its effect on minorities.

In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres said five police unions representing the majority of the police department’s 35,000 employees lacked legal standing to pick up where the city left off when it decided to settle the case last year rather than pursue an appeal.

The unions said a finding of discrimination had damaged the reputation of the nation’s largest police force.

But Torres said, “As a general matter, employees suffer no legally protectable reputational harm merely because their employer is found liable in a lawsuit.”

Patrick J. Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, promised to appeal. Without mentioning Mayor Bill de Blasio by name, he said the settlement was reached “by parties that appeared to have interests that became allied after the recent election with no party representing the interests of the employees who will be most impacted.”