Thursday, August 8, 2013

NYPD Agrees To Purge Names Of Those Stopped And Frisked

The New York Police Department will erase hundreds of thousands of names and addresses it has collected of those stopped and frisked, in a settlement announced Wednesday.

Some NYPD data on stop-and-frisks is useful for tracking the breadth of the controversial practice now under fire both in court and by the City Council, and the city publishes demographic information on stop-and-frisks several times a year. But names and addresses of those stopped have been used by the NYPD in criminal investigations. “[I]f you got stopped on the street and were in the database, you were a target of an investigation even if you had done absolutely nothing wrong,” the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Christopher Dunn told the New York Law Journal. “This will end that completely.”

The database compounded the harms imposed by millions of NYPD stop-and-frisks performed over the course of the Bloomberg administration, particularly of young black men.

A legislative change in 2010 required the NYPD to purge its database of those who were stopped and never arrested or issued a summons. Celeste Koeleveld, executive assistant corporation counsel for public safety, told the Law Journal that after that law passed, the database became of comparatively low value, because it was incomplete. The city will now purge names and addresses from the database of anyone whose charges were dismissed or whose cases ended with a non-criminal resolution, resolving a 2010 class action lawsuit.

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