Paterson Approves Barring NYC Database On Police Stops


New York Gov. David Paterson will sign legislation prohibiting the New York Police Department from electronically storing the names and addresses of people stopped on the streets but found to have done nothing wrong, the New York Times reports. Paterson's support of the measure, which would fundamentally alter how police can use information from street stops, comes despite heated opposition from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Kelly argued for a veto and warned that the bill would probably lead to more New Yorkers' becoming “victims of crime – unnecessarily.” City officials hastily prepared a report intended to show instances in which data gathered in street stops had helped detectives in solving crimes. Said Kelly: “Albany has robbed us of a great crime-fighting tool, one that saved lives. Without it, there will be, inevitably, killers and other criminals who won't be captured as quickly or perhaps ever.” Critics have said the database improperly included information on thousands of innocent people stopped on the streets and questioned and sometimes frisked, but not fined or arrested.

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