New York passes law banning "stop and frisk" database

Posted on July 19th, 2010 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

New York CityNew York Gov. David Paterson on July 16 signed a bill prohibiting the retention of personal information on individuals detained by New York City police during a "stop and frisk" but ultimately not charged with a crime. The law was approved by the New York Assembly last month and will end the practice of police obtaining and keeping an electronic record of all individuals who are temporarily detained based on a police officer's reasonable suspicion.

Opponents of the law, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, argue that the current database has been an important crime fighting tool for police officers in New York City, crediting the database with a significant decrease in crime. In 2009, New York City police officers obtained information from more than 500,000 individuals, primarily minorities, as a result "stop and frisk" detentions.

"Stop and frisk" detentions are considered an exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment, based on an officer's reasonable suspicion and the necessity to protect the safety of police officers. In February, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that strip searching all incoming inmates does not violate the Fourth Amendment because it is necessary in order to prevent illegal substances from entering prisons. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in December that a warrantless search of the contents of a suspect's cell phone violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure, unless the search is necessary to protect the officers' safety or there are other exigent circumstances. (Jurist, July 16)



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