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NYPD Monitor Plan Prompts Police Unions To Fight Against Oversight

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NEW YORK — New York City's police unions are seeking to stop a federal monitor from overseeing the NYPD.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association filed motions Thursday in Manhattan federal court on behalf of four police unions, and the Sergeant's Benevolent Association filed separately.

They took the first steps to appeal a federal judge's decision last month on the department's stop and frisk policy and are asking the court to intervene in the case.

Police have stopped, questioned and sometimes patted down about 5 million people over the past decade. The judge ruled that the policy violated the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of black and Hispanic men. She ordered a monitor to oversee changes to the policy including officer training, supervision, and paperwork.

If the motions are granted, they unions say they will allow them to have an active role in the appeal and any changes that come.

"Police officers, detectives, lieutenants and captains are the boots on the ground in the fight against crime and terrorism," said Patrick Lynch, president of the patrolmen's union, the largest in the country. "The establishment of a federal monitor may directly impact our members' safety, day-to-day responsibilities, and collective bargaining and other rights. So we believe that we should have standing to participate in arguing the appeal in order to protect those rights."

The police officers say in court papers that some of the changes proposed by the judge are not feasible for officers, and may lead to hastily-drafted accounts of encounters that could result in omissions and errors. Those problems could affect the officer down the road.

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