New York City police officers no longer can keep a giant electronic library of everyone they stop on the street – but officers can still collect names the old-fashioned way, reports the New York Daily News. Just after Gov David Paterson signed a law banning the department from entering personal information of innocent people into a citywide database, a memo wa sent reminding cops they legally can gather the intel, as long as they use a pen and paper.
“The law does not affect an officer’s ability to collect identification information at the scene of a street encounter, and does not affect the preparation, copying or filing of stop, question and frisk report worksheets,” the memo reads. “Commanding officers shall ensure that copies of stop, question and frisk report worksheets are maintained in a precinct file.” Civil libertarians and others battled against the database. They said blacks and Latinos were disproportionately targeted in the searches and their information was stored indefinitely, even though the stops ended in an arrest or a ticket only about 12 percent of the time.