Resource: Case Study: Floyd v. City of New York


January 1, 2015

Catalysts for Collaboration

Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al., was a landmark federal class action lawsuit that addressed the controversial stop-and-frisk policies of the New York Police Department. The case was the result of significant collaboration of multiple advocacy, legal, and community groups that challenged the racially motivated stop and search tactics of the police. In August 2013, a federal judge held that New York City violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures—and the Fourteenth Amendment—which guarantees equal protection of all citizens under the law—by systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. The court called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms, including the use of body-cams on some patrol officers, and for a joint remedial process where stakeholders would collaborate to generate a plan forward.