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Federal Judge Finds Mayor Bloomberg’s “Stop & Frisk” Policy Violates Our Constitutional Rights

A Manhattan federal court judge, Shira Scheindlin, held yesterday in a written decision that “the city acted with deliberate indifference toward the NYPD’s practice of making unconstitutional stops and conducting unconstitutional frisks”. “In particular, officers must cease the targeting of young black and Hispanic males for stops based on the appearance of these groups in crime complaints”. The judge also concluded that “the city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner”. The judge is now requiring oversight by a former NYC corporation counsel attorney and a pilot program for police officers to wear cameras on themselves to help deter further violations. Using cameras will notably also protect the City from unfounded allegations and lawsuits.

Mayor Bloomberg responds that the City will appeal, arguing the program has been successful in reducing crime. What the Mayor fails to recognize is that in a democratic society, you must find ways to reduce crime without trampling on constitutional rights. No doubt, we could easily end all crime with a police state, but our nation has chosen a different path that involves individual freedoms.

Government leaders are notorious for repeating mistakes and Mayor Bloomberg is a perfect example. Anti-communism rhetoric was used by Senator Joseph McCarthy to implement policies that convicted citizens of anti-government crimes without due process. The mere accusation of anti-government speech could have resulted in the loss of job or imprisonment. 60 years later, rather than trying to root out “communism”, we are now fighting “terrorism”. Regardless of the threat, the end does not always justify the means.

As some countries are fighting to have a first taste of freedom, others are giving back the freedoms they fought to obtain. In Russia, despite all the progress made over the past several decades, two young female singers were recently imprisoned for two years in a labor camp for merely singing songs in public deemed anti-government and anti-religious. Their trial was not decided by a jury of their peers, but by a government judge.

In New York City, known for being liberal and open-minded, our police are openly targeting Muslims, Hispanics, and African-Americans. When government leaders encounter widespread economic hardship and fear, many take the easy road rather than the one that requires courage and fortitude. Mayor Bloomberg’s simplistic approach is no different. If any particular race, creed, or religious group is targeted, it means that we are all open to losing our freedoms. It is what we call a “slippery slope”. Once you start down this road, the momentum continues to pick up and it is very difficult to turn back.

The courts in the United States are a watchdog over any policies that deprive the people of their constitutional freedoms. Mayor Bloomberg’s term may be ending, but hopefully his successor will realize that there is a very steep price we all pay when our rights are stripped away.

Brett J. Nomberg of the firm Brand Brand Nomberg & Rosenbaum, LLP, (BBNR) is a New York Personal Injury Attorney and trial attorney protecting the rights of all New York residents. Mr. Nomberg has obtained many multi-million dollar verdicts, is the Chair of the Torts Litigation Committee of the NYC Bar Association, has appeared on national news television as a commentator, and has been practicing law in New York State for over 20 years. BBNR handles all different types of litigation including Civil Rights violations, Accidents, Medical Malpractice, Worker’s Compensation, and Social Security. You can visit the site at and call any time for a free consultation. We do not charge a fee unless we are successful in winning your case.

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Construction Accident


$1.7 million verdict in New York County against the driver of a delivery truck who struck a man as he was crossing the street within the crosswalk in Manhattan.

Motor Vehicle Accident


$3.6 Million settlement in New York Supreme Court for a Spanish speaking construction worker who fell off a 6 foot ladder and landed onto metal and wooden debris. The worker required lumbar spinal surgery for his injuries and needed surgeries to both knees from the fall. The worker could not return to work and suffered depression from his injuries resulting in a suicide attempt.

Construction Accident


$3.2 million verdict in Queens Supreme Court for an undocumented Polish speaking construction worker who fell 12 feet during a demolition project. The worker fractured a vertebrae and herniated several discs in his spine requiring surgery. The plaintiff was unable to return back to work due to his injuries.

Motor Vehicle Accident


$1.5 million verdict in Supreme Court Kings County for a woman struck by a car that jumped the curb and hit the pedestrian while standing on the sidewalk across from Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Slip And Fall Accident


$1.9 million verdict in New York Supreme Court for a bank manager who slipped and fell on a wet floor, resulting in spinal injuries. The building owner knew about a recurring leak inside the basement cafeteria but failed to correct the problem.

Construction Accident


$2 million settlement in Queens Supreme Court for Polish construction worker who fell 2 stories from a bucket. The worker’s supervisor told the construction worker to ride the material bucket down to use the bathroom because it would save time. The worker fractured his pelvis in several places requiring surgery and was unable to return to work.

Medical Malpractice


Defense counsel offers 11 cents to settle before trial and the jury renders a verdict of $4.5 million dollars for a medical malpractice victim and his wife. The action was commenced in New York Supreme Court for a patient who suffered massive internal bleeding during a lower back surgery when the surgeon negligently cut an artery and failed to promptly treat the condition, causing a loss of oxygen and injury to the brain. The anesthesiologist failed to properly monitor the patient’s vitals during the surgery and alert the surgeon of the drop in blood pressure.



$1.25 million settlement in New York Supreme Court against building owner for negligent security that caused two women to be assaulted while leaving work. A masked man entered their elevator from a floor that was supposed to be closed off for construction. The assailant used a metal pipe to attack the two women. The two women split the settlement monies.

Construction Accident


$1.5 Million settlement in New York Supreme Court for a construction worker who was struck by a piece of concrete that fell on his head and back. Workers above were chipping concrete despite knowing that people were working directly below them. The plaintiff required surgery on his neck but made a good recovery.

Medical Malpractice


$3.9 million settlement in Supreme Court Kings County for a Brooklyn man who suffered a stroke shortly following an eye surgery. The patient was given medical clearance for local anesthesia but instead was placed under general anesthesia for 7 hours. The patient’s blood pressure was not well controlled resulting in a 30 minute hypertensive emergency near the end of the operation. The patient died after 7 years of living in different nursing homes.


    I did not think myself that we will win this difficult matter and become victorious, especially after being rejected by numerous other attorneys…but your professionalism Brett, dedication and determination, not to mention a huge heart, was how we prevailed


    When I brought my situation to a local attorney he directed me to Brett Nomberg, and I’m so glad he did. Someone always was able to give me a status of what was going on. Your team made my wife and I realize we were dealing with a truly professional firm and at the same time, sympathetic to our needs. Great job. Excellent Customer Service.


    I want to thank you for all the help and support that was given to my parents by you and your colleagues. Your firm’s time, effort and dedication, is without question second to none and this led to a successful settlement


    We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful representation you provided and for believing in our case. It was very vindicating to have a judge and jury decide in our favor.


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