The names and addresses of New Yorkers subject to stop-and-frisk searches but subsequently cleared of wrongdoing won’t be stored in city databases anymore, as a lawsuit surrounding the controversial practice has been settled.
The class-action lawsuit was brought in 2010 by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) on behalf of hundreds of thousands of individuals who were stopped and frisked by the NYPD. Though all were either released without charge or had their cases dismissed, their names and addresses were still stored in an NYPD database, a practice the plaintiffs claimed was in violation of New York state law.
Per yesterday's settlement, this database will be purged. The NYPD will no longer be permitted to maintain it in the future and will pay the NYCLU $10,000 for its troubles.
"Though much still needs to be done, this settlement is an important step towards curbing the impact of abusive stop-and-frisk practices," said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn.
Many civil libertarians claim that the practice of stop-and-frisk, wherein police in high-crime neighborhoods detain and frisk individuals who they deem to look suspicious, is unconstitutional and racially-motivated. It’s the subject of a federal lawsuit in Manhattan; should the judge rule against the practice, the NYPD could, for the first time in history, be subject to federal monitoring by the Department of Justice.