Kathleen Horan, Reporter, WNYC News
Kathleen Horan is a staff reporter for New York Public Radio, covering the neighborhood beat. She also reports 'Reset', an ongoing series documenting police-community relations in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio vowed to drop the city's pending appeal of two stop-and-frisk cases if he wins the election next Tuesday. At a press conference on Friday, he said the remedies ordered by Judge Scheindlin were fair, but the more important issue is police reform itself.
The Democrat added that there's plenty of work to be done apart from the courts — including appointing another police commissioner and an inspector general for the NYPD. New York University Law Professor Stephen Gillers believes if DeBlasio drops the appeal, he'll probably try to settle the case with the plaintiffs and negotiate a consent decree.
“We may come out of this with the exact same package that made up Judge Scheindlin's ruling without the injunction," said Gillers.
That way, Gillers observed, the next police commissioner will be able to take command with less hanging over the NYPD's head —such as the city being found in contempt if the court orders were violated.
The NYCLU's Christopher Dunn, a lawyer for plaintiffs’ in the stop-and-frisk litigation, agreed that a settlement is a likely outcome if DeBlasio is voted into city hall.
"The incoming administration has made it clear that reforming stop-and-frisk is a priority, it’s a priority for us and that's a recipe for a settlement and that's what we expect will happen,” he said.
Earlier this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit halted the reforms ordered by Judge Shira Scheindlin and removed her from the case.