“The NYPD is one department that has been extremely resistant to even collecting information,” says Joanna Schwartz, a law professor at UCLA who has been studying how cities handle these types of lawsuits. “The Bloomberg administration has said that the mere fact of a settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, but if the city is paying out $300 million, it seems cost effective to try to identify what the reasons are. If Bloomberg News was paying out that much, you bet they would look at it."

Schwartz found that departments that analyze legal claims were better able to identify problem officers and troubling trends and address them. “Lo and behold when they do look at trends in claims, they learn new thing about their departments,” she says.

Joel Berger, Rosa Chiclana's lawyer
Photographs by Lyric Cabral
Joel Berger, Rosa Chiclana's lawyer
Rosa Chiclana
Photographs by Lyric Cabral
Rosa Chiclana

But for the city to undertake an effort like that would be tantamount to admitting defeat, to acknowledging that in fact there are profound problems with the stop and frisk campaign, with the program of low level arrests, and with the level of accountability in the NYPD. It would take Bloomberg admitting that he was wrong.

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