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NYPD Announces New Stop And Frisk Pilot Program

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After accusations of racial profiling, the New York City Police Department told the City Council Thursday that it is trying out a new Stop and Frisk program in certain neighborhoods.

On the advice of the RAND Corporation, the department is now giving an explanation to pedestrians that officers stop in Harlem, the South Bronx, and East New York.

Anyone who is stopped by police in those neighborhoods will receive a palm card detailing the officers' motives.

At a City Council hearing about the policy today, Assistant Commissioner of Intergovernmental Affairs Susan Petito read a letter from Commissioner Ray Kelly to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn outlining the program.

Even as they praised the initiative, some lawmakers were annoyed that police officials did not take any questions.

"They've known about this program for three weeks and we thought they were actually going to show up and testify up until about eight days ago," said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. "We're disappointed that they did not come here and answer questions today."

Kelly says officials could not take questions because they are currently involved in a federal class-action lawsuit on the topic.

The 2007 RAND Corporation report generally supported the NYPD's Stop and Frisk activities and found that the department was not engaging in racial profiling, because they stopped blacks less than the rate at which they were accused of crimes.

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