American Scene: Judge rules against cops’ stop-and-search policy
NEW YORK — A federal judge has ordered New York City police to stop making trespass stops outside certain privately owned buildings in the Bronx without reasonable suspicion.
Manhattan Judge Shira Scheindlin made the ruling Tuesday as an interim order before a trial on a lawsuit filed against the city.
The judge said it is not enough for a police officer to have a nonspecific suspicion or hunch about a person to perform a stop and frisk.
The case is one of three lawsuits challenging the police department’s stop-and-frisk practices.
The case on which Judge Scheindlin ruled is the narrowest of the three. It deals with legal issues raised after the city first adopted a stop-and-frisk law in 1964.
The city did not comment immediately.
Boy Scouts must release decades of files of sex abuse
LOS ANGELES — The Boy Scouts of America must release two decades of files detailing sexual abuse allegations after the California Supreme Court refused the organization’s bid to keep the records confidential.
The decision was made after a Santa Barbara County court ruled last year that the files must be turned over to lawyers representing a former Scout who claims a leader molested him in 2007, when he was 13. That leader later was convicted of felony child endangerment.
The former Scout’s lawsuit claims the files, which date to 1991, will expose a “culture of hidden sexual abuse” that the Scouts concealed.
The Boy Scouts of America has denied the allegations and argued that the files should remain confidential to protect the privacy of child victims and of people who were wrongly accused.
“The BSA will comply fully with the order, but maintains that the files are not relevant to this suit” and won’t be made public unless used as evidence in the case, spokesman Deron Smith told the Los Angeles Times.
It’s not clear how soon the files will become public. The documents are covered by a judge’s protective order and can’t be revealed until they become part of the open court record in the former Scout’s lawsuit.