Critics Say New Orleans Police “Field Interview Cards” May Violate the Law


Controversy surrounds the New Orleans Police Department’s policies on traffic and pedestrian stops, which during the past year led officers to enter the names and personal information of more than 70,000 people into a centralized electronic database — an action that in some cases might have been unconstitutional, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Police brass tout “field interview cards,” or FICs — information sheets that police fill out after stopping and questioning a citizen — as a smart, modern investigative tool that is helping to solve crimes. Civil rights groups and the Justice Department have questioned whether the widespread use of the cards violates privacy, and perhaps the law. Some cops have also questioned the department’s policies on field interview cards, saying that officers are encouraged to fill them out in cases where they’re not appropriate.

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