A federal appeals court Friday ordered a lower court to reconsider its refusal to block a police checkpoint program that cordoned off a crime-plagued D.C. neighborhood last year.
The unanimous 14-page opinion of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said plaintiffs arguing against the use of police checkpoints “made a particularly strong showing of the substantial likelihood of success on the merits and that they would suffer irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted.”
The checkpoints, modeled after a similar New York City initiative, were first implemented in June 2008 after a triple homicide and again in July 2008 after the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy.
The program allowed police to bar drivers of vehicles who did not live in Trinidad or have a reason for being there from entering the neighborhood. Officers were authorized to request identification and motorists could be denied entry for not verifying a legitimate purpose for entering, such as being employed within the affected zone.