New NYC Mayor Drops Stop-and-Frisk Appeal

Mayor Bill de Blasio changes course on the stop-and-frisk policy touted by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg

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Joshua Roberts / Reuters

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks at the plenary session of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C., on Jan. 23, 2014.

New York City said Thursday it would drop its appeal of a court ruling that it reform the police’s controversial stop-and-frisk program, potentially ending a protracted legal and political battle that divided the city.

A judge ruled last year that the New York Police Department was discriminating against blacks and Hispanics in the way it implemented its stop-and-frisk strategy, in which officers stop people on the street, question them and sometimes frisk them. Then-mayor Michael Bloomberg appealed, crediting stop-and-frisk with the city’s historic declines in crime.

Newly-elected Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made opposition to the tactic a centerpiece of his campaign, is now seeking to drop the appeal, the Associated Press reports. His new police commissioner, Bill Bratton, has also promised to better collaborate with communities that have complained about abuse of stop-and-frisk.

But the legal battle isn’t quite over. Police unions are seeking to intervene and carry out the appeal.