22,000 Loiterers Win $15M
Class Action Vs. NYPD Approved After 30 Years of Bogus Loitering Charges
NEW YORK — This week a federal court in Manhattan approved a class action settlement requiring New York City to pay $15 Million Dollars to approximately 22,000 New Yorkers who were illegally charged by the New York City Police Department under unconstitutional “loitering” statutes between 1983 and this year.
The NYPD continued to enforce these void statutes for decades after New York state and federal courts had struck down these laws in the 1980s and 1990s, on First Amendment and other constitutional grounds.
Matthew D. Brinckerhoff, who is well known in Brooklyn for representing opponents to the Atlantic Yards project, was one of the lead attorneys in the case. He said: “The NYPD’s failure to train or discipline officers who violated the constitutional rights of more than twenty thousand innocent citizens for decades on end is inexcusable. Make no mistake, it happened because the victims were uniformly poor and disenfranchised.”