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Case Name Black Love Resists in the Rust v. City of Buffalo CJ-NY-0015
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00719 ( W.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Policing
Attorney Organization Center for Constitutional Rights
Case Summary
On June 28, 2018, Black Love Resists in the Rust and four individual plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit in the Western District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the City of Buffalo, NY under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment and under ... read more >
On June 28, 2018, Black Love Resists in the Rust and four individual plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit in the Western District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the City of Buffalo, NY under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment and under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The plaintiffs, represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, and the Western New York Law Center, Inc., sought both injunctive and monetary relief. They claimed that the City of Buffalo disproportionately used vehicle checkpoints in Black and Latino communities to generate revenue, resulting in a disparate impact on Black and Latino people. Specifically, they claimed that over 85% of checkpoints occurred in predominantly Black or Latino neighborhoods, with nearly 40% of checkpoints conducted since 2012 occurred in just three of Buffalo's seventy-seven census tracts, each with a Black or Latino population exceeding 86%.

According to the complaint, around 2012, the Buffalo Police Department initiated a crime "Strike Force" that implemented a vehicle checkpoint program to conduct stops and searches of drivers without any individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. These checkpoints lasted as long as forty-five minutes and frequently resulted in multiple ticket citations. For example, one class member was issued four separate tickets for having four tinted windows, costing him $720 total. That class member was also forced to choose between jail or the immediate impoundment of his car; he chose the latter, resulting in an addition $125 fee. Under state law, the City of Buffalo kept almost all the revenue collected from traffic tickets. After the checkpoints were instituted in 2015, the number of traffic tickets issued increased by 92%.

The plaintiffs sought an injunction to end and remediate said traffic enforcement practices, as well as monetary damages for the financial harm, humiliation, and loss of liberty and property.

This case in currently in discovery and is ongoing.

Sara Denbo - 02/01/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Fines/Fees/Bail/Bond
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) City of Buffalo
Plaintiff Description Black Love Resists in the Rust, a grassroots police accountability organization in Buffalo, NY, as well as four class representatives who were subjected to and detrimentally affected by these suspicionless traffic stops.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Center for Constitutional Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Black Love Resists in the Rust v. City of Buffalo
Center for Constitutional Rights
Date: Jul. 19, 2018
By: Center for Constitutional Rights
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-00719 (W.D.N.Y.)
CJ-NY-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-NY-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Reiss, Christina Clair (D. Vt.)
CJ-NY-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Azmy, Baher (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Charney, Darius (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Cohan, Marc (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
England, Travis W (District of Columbia)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Ezie, A. Chinyere (Alabama)
CJ-NY-0015-9000
Kelemen, Joseph (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Krugman, Edward P. (District of Columbia)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Lau, Theresa (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Malhotra, Anjana (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Williams, Keisha Alecia (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Wilner, Claudia (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Wilson, Britney (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-0001 | CJ-NY-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Quinn, Robert Emmet (New York)
CJ-NY-0015-9000

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