The New York Police Department has been taken to court over its controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy, which rights groups say specifically targets minorities.
A civil case is to begin on Monday in Manhattan, where more than a hundred witnesses are expected to testify regarding the NYPD practice of stopping, questioning and frisking people. Blacks and Hispanic men are the main targets, a claim that the NYPD denies.
“When we say stop, question and frisk, we’re not talking about a brief inconvenience on the way to work or school,” said lead attorney Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “We’re talking about a frightening, humiliating experience that has happened to many folks.”
Of the five million New Yorkers, who have been stopped and frisked by police during the past decade, more than 85 percent were allegedly either Black or Latino, and almost 90 percent were released without being charged.
The outcome of the federal trial could force the largest police department in the United States to change its policy, legal experts say.
The legal development on the NYPD comes as outraged New Yorkers recently took to the streets of Brooklyn for several nights to protest against the death of a 16-year-old boy, who was shot seven times by plainclothes police on March 9.
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