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Court Denies Union Appeal In Stop-And-Frisk Case

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The NYPD stop-and-frisk policy may have been dealt a final blow, as a federal appeals court on Friday refused a request by police unions to reexamine the issue.

The stop-and-frisk case was heard last year in federal court. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled after a 10-week civil trial that the NYPD's stop, question and frisk policy sometimes discriminated against minorities.

She ordered sweeping reforms to the policy, and installed a monitor to oversee the changes.

The Bloomberg administration appealed the decision, but the de Blasio administration dropped the appeal when the new mayor came into office this year. The police unions subsequently tried to take over the appeal.

The appeals court said Friday that allowing the unions to continue the appeal would essentially erode the decision by New York voters to bring in a mayor who wanted to drop the appeal.

A judge had earlier ruled the unions did not signal soon enough a wish to be included in the lawsuit.

The New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association released a statement on the ruling Friday, indicating some satisfaction that the ruling did at least affirm the unions' standing to appeal.

"The court made clear that the PBA's collective bargaining and state law rights do not take a back seat to what is clearly a voluntary agreement between plaintiffs and the City, a point the PBA has made repeatedly since the agreement was struck by the new administration," PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said in the statement. "The PBA will continue to monitor actions taken in this process moving forward to ensure that they do not violate the rights of NYC police officers."

The NYPD could try another appeal, but it would be an uphill battle, CBS 2 reported.

The NYPD has already started implementing some of the suggestions made in the ruling on its own. For example, a pilot program of body-worn cameras is being developed in five precincts, and the form officers fill out to record a stop-and-frisk was being revised.

Since before the trial, streets stops have been on decline from a high of more than 685,000 in 2011. In the first half of this year there have only been 27,527 stops. In two of the precincts that recorded the most stops, the 75th Precinct and 73rd Precinct, both in Brooklyn, there have only been 126 stops, compared to 10,540 in 2011.

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