Two plaintiffs have filed a proposed class action in which they claim the city of New York has allowed officers of the NYPD to detain individuals and conduct illegal warrant searches when no reasonable suspicion for such detention exists.
Two plaintiffs have filed a proposed class action lawsuit in which they claim the city of New York has allowed officers of the New York Police Department to detain individuals and conduct illegal warrant searches when no reasonable suspicion for such detention exists.
The lawsuit, filed against the City of New York and pseudonymous NYPD police officers, begins by outlining each of the plaintiffs’ experiences. Both men claim they were walking alone in New York City when they were approached by police officers and searched. Even though the officers supposedly found “nothing unlawful, dangerous or suspicious” in the possession of either man, the suit says they conducted a warrant search on each plaintiff, only to let them go after finding no warrants against them.
According to the case, NYPD officers have engaged in a pattern and practice of detaining individuals to conduct unlawful warrant searches without reasonable suspicion, and even after reasonable suspicion “has been extinguished.” The case cites another lawsuit, Ramirez v. City of New York, et al., in which the court found that the NYPD’s practice of conducting warrant searches without reasonable suspicion was unconstitutional.
The lawsuit claims this allegedly unlawful practice is driven by secret arrest quotas pushed by the NYPD. According to the case, “[s]ubstantial evidence” exists to support the suspicion that NYPD officers are motivated to make a certain number of arrests and are retaliated against if they fail to meet the quota. The arrest quota system, the suit says, incentivizes officers to detain individuals and conduct illegal warrant searches even without reasonable suspicion for the detention.
The lawsuit alleges the practice “is so persistent and widespread” that it is a known custom to policy-making NYPD officials, who the suit says have failed to properly train and discipline officers regarding the unconstitutionality of unmerited warrant searches.
“The NYPD was faced with a clear pattern of police officers conducting such unlawful detentions for the purpose of conducting warrant searches,” the complaint reads, “and yet the NYPD did not investigate or discipline those officers, thereby acquiescing in and tacitly authorizing the police officers’ unlawful actions.”
The lawsuit not only looks to compensate proposed class members but also seeks an order requiring that the defendants cease their allegedly unlawful practices, conduct remedial training for all current members of the NYPD on the legal grounds for conducting warrant searches, and implement a system to monitor warrant searches.