Updated 05/19/2010 11:17 PM
NYCLU Files Lawsuit Against City's Stop-And-Frisk Database
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A lawsuit in the works challenges the New York City Police Department for keeping records of people who were stopped and frisked by officers but never found guilty of a crime.
The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in State Supreme Court Wednesday, seeking class-action status on behalf of more than 100,000 people whose personal information is on file.
The group says state laws require police to seal off access to all records of their stop-and-frisk encounters, in cases in which there are no arrests or summons.
"The practice of maintaining this massive database of innocent New Yorkers is not simply a violation of state law. It adds insult to injury when somebody's wrongfully stopped and questioned by the police," said Donna Lieberman of the NYCLU.
The NYCLU has also released a video featuring two men who say they are concerned about being in the police database.
"If I riding my bike legally on the streets of New York can end up in a database, some kind of secret police database, with my private information in it, for doing nothing wrong, then anyone in this city can end up in that database," said one man who identified himself as "Daryl."
"I've been stopped so many times that now I've lost count," said another man.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, the city, and several unnamed officers are listed as defendants.
Kelly says the database is invaluable, and has been instrumental in leading to arrests in many cases.