The Legal Beat
Lawyer Who Was Lead Plaintiff In New York Stop-And-Frisk Case Is Still Getting Stopped And Frisked
Posted on Friday July 19, 2019
Late one afternoon in March 2018, I had just left work to meet a friend in Brooklyn when cops stopped me on the street. I had just graduated from law school, so I knew enough to keep my mouth shut. I invoked my rights, but it didn’t matter. They still tried to get me to admit to something I didn’t do.
After seven long hours in the precinct, they told me I could leave without charging me with anything. I had a big test coming up the next morning—the MPRE, the professional ethics portion of the bar exam. By the time I returned home from the precinct around 2 a.m., I couldn’t sleep. I was still going on adrenaline.
Still, I showed up and took the exam. And I passed. But when I got home, that’s when it all hit. That’s when I started crying and thinking about how, even at this point in my life, despite everything I have accomplished, this is still happening to me.
— David Ourlicht, a 2017 graduate of CUNY School of Law, recounting the details of a recent stop-and-frisk incident. Ourlicht served as one of the lead plaintiffs in Floyd v. City of New York, a class-action suit challenging the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk practices. Ourlicht won that case, and stop-and-frisk was branded unconstitutional. Ourlicht currently works as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in New York City.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.