New York May Be Sued To Enforce Ban On Stop-And-Frisk Database


How will New York state enforce its new law overturning the New York Police Department's policy of keeping a computer database of people stopped by officers on the street but found to have done nothing wrong? The New York Times asks that question, noting that the measure failed to include any explicit mechanism for ensuring that the police put an end to the practice, such as the appointment of a monitor with auditing powers. It also lacked any penalty provisions for failing to comply with it.

If the police now choose to keep a stealth form of the electronic database, said Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union, there are “built-in mechanisms” to expose it, including a self-policing one: a force of 36,000 officers who are notorious for complaining about malfeasance. “You know, whistleblowers,” she said. An aide to Gov. David Paterson said, “The enforcement on this is going to be when someone sues” the police department. “That is where this is headed.”

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