Updated 05/15/2012 09:50 PM
NYPD Plans Re-Training For Taxi, Livery Inspection Program
The NYPD plans to re-train its officers on how its Taxi and Livery Inspection Program is supposed to work following a lawsuit brought by a city resident and the New York Civil Liberties Union. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger filed this report.
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Terrence Battle says that he was yanked out of a cab in Brooklyn in 2010 and frisked by police for no reason.
"Pulling over next to my house, police turned their lights on and stopped the cab," he said. "They walked up and asked the cab driver if everything was OK. The cab driver said yeah. They immediately turned their attention to me, frisked me, searched me, went through my bag."
Battle sued the city with the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Now, the case has been settled, with Battle receiving $10,000.
Perhaps more importantly, the New York Police Department says it will re-train officers on how its Taxi and Livery Inspection Program (TRIP) is supposed to work.
Officers are allowed to stop cabs that carry TRIP decals, to make sure the drivers are OK.
But if no has been crime committed, passengers should not be searched.
In a statement, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne calls TRIP "a viable crime prevention strategy."
"The NYPD will continue to inform and train uniformed members as to when it is appropriate under the law to remove passengers from liveries during TRIP stops," he said.
At the time of the incident, Battle worked for Kiss FM and Hot 97. He says he told the cops he would mention the situation on the radio.
"They kind of laughed," he said. "Sure, let us know what time, we want to hear about it. I'm glad they hear about it now."
The NYCLU says it hopes officers will follow the guidelines when it comes to keeping livery cab drivers and their passengers safe.
"It is always a challenge to get police officers to change their practices, but this is a very common sense, straight-forward rule," said Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the NYCLU.
In the meantime, several groups outraged at NYPD "stop and frisks" are organizing a silent march down Fifth Avenue.
"We want to go where they are not stopped and they are not frisked," said Rev. Al Sharpton. "We are going down the avenue where they are escorted and respected because we are not treated like that."
The march is scheduled for Father's Day.