Stop-and-Frisk Overhaul Council Appointed

Tanya Hernandez in Courthouse News Service, September 19, 2013

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The judge who found stop-and-frisk unconstitutional in New York City has named a council of academics to voluntarily oversee the program's overhaul.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin had already appointed a monitor, veteran lawyer Peter Zimroth, and a facilitator, Vera Institute of Justice President Nicholas Turner.

On Wednesday she said the pair needs a backup and appointed a 12-member Academic Advisory Council.

Chairing the council will be Brooklyn Law School professor Bennett Capers. Another professor from the school, William Hellerstein, will sit on the panel.

Yale Law School also has two professors on the council: Ian Ayres and Tracey Meares.

 Columbia Law School professors are in the majority: Miriam Gohara, Conrad Johnson, Olatunde Johnson and Janice Tudy-Jackson.

Rounding out the panel are Alafair Burke, of Hofstra University; Taja-Nia Henderson, of Rutgers School of Law-Newark; Tanya Hernandez, of Fordham University School of Law; and K. Babe Howell, of CUNY School of Law.

"These professors have generously agreed to provide their expertise in a pro bono capacity, Scheindlin said.

Scheindlin ruled Tuesday that New York City can't delay her court-ordered overhaul of the department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which she ruled unconstitutional Aug. 12.

In that original order, Scheindlin appointed an independent monitor, and also ordered the development of a pilot project requiring the use of body-worn cameras by officers on patrol in five select precincts.

The New York City Police Department and outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been vocal about their opposition to Scheindlin's ruling.