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NY police challenged on illegal stops and searches

NY police challenged on illegal stops and searches

Finding New York City's attitude "deeply troubling," a judge granted class action status Wednesday to a lawsuit that accuses police of discriminating against blacks and Hispanics with stops and searches without cause.
U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled that there was "overwhelming evidence" that the practice has led to thousands of illegal stops.
The lawsuit alleges that the police department purposefully targeted black and Hispanic neighborhoods and said officers are pressured to meet quotas as part of the program and are punished if they don't.
The Police Department said it made 601,055 street stops of potential suspects last year, with about 10 percent of stops resulting in arrests. In 2009, there were 575,304 stops.
The city has responded to the lawsuit by saying a court order to stop the practice would amount to "judicial intrusion."
Scheindlin called that "disturbing."
"First, suspicionless stops should never occur," Scheindlin wrote.
The city law office said in a statement: "We respectfully disagree with the decision and are reviewing our legal options."
Darius Charney, who argued the case on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a non-profit legal organization, said the ruling "reinforces that this is a citywide problem the NYPD needs to address."
The RAND Corp. research organization, in a study commissioned by the NYPD and released in 2007, acknowledged that "black pedestrians were stopped at a rate that is 50 percent greater than their representation in the residential census."


Updated : 2021-10-23 07:33 GMT+08:00