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NYC withdraws challenge to stop-and-frisk lawsuits

New York City asked a court to dismiss its appeal in lawsuits over stop-and-frisk police tactics, moving closer to a resolution that Mayor Bill de Blasio promised in January would end such practices.

If the appeals court in Manhattan grants Wednesday’s request, the city will be a step closer to resolving more than a decade of court battles.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg credited stop-and-frisk with driving down crime during his 12-year tenure. After U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that stop-and-frisk illegally discriminated against minorities and must end, Bloomberg’s administration obtained a stay of her order. The appeals court delayed enforcement of Schneidlin’s ruling and removed her from the case, saying her actions ran afoul of the federal judges’ code of conduct.

Upon taking office in January, de Blasio announced the city had reached an accord with those who sued. His administration Wednesday moved to end the appeal.

Police unions in February asked to step into the shoes of the city to pursue an appeal after the current administration decided to settle. They asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to review the measures ordered by Scheindlin, including the appointment of a monitor. The appeals court said it wanted to hear from U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres who was assigned to the case on Scheindlin’s removal.

Lawyers for the city noted Wednesday in court papers that Torres on July 30 rejected a bid by the unions to block the settlement. The five unions, including the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the Detectives’ Endowment Association, lack significant interests tied to the case to intervene, she ruled.

Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

The cases are Ligon v. City of New York, 13-03442, and Floyd v. City of New York, 13-03461, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.