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NYPD: Names of innocent to be erased from stop-and-frisk records

By Julia Talanova, CNN
August 8, 2013 -- Updated 1359 GMT (2159 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New York's stop-and-frisk policy allows police to stop those they consider suspicious
  • Clive Lino and others brought suit to clear their names from the NYPD's database
  • Lino, who is black, has been stopped at least 13 times, according to the case
  • The NYPD agrees to clear names of those stopped but never convicted of an offense

New York (CNN) -- The New York City Police Department has agreed to clear its database of people who were stopped under the controversial stop-and-frisk practice but were cleared of criminal wrongdoings, according to the settlement issued Wednesday in the New York Supreme Court.

In a move to settle the state lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union in 2010, the NYPD has agreed to erase the database within 90 days.

"Though much still needs to be done, this settlement is an important step towards curbing the impact of abusive stop and frisk practices," said Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the NYCLU and lead plaintiffs' counsel in the case.

Information to be cleared from the electronic database includes names and addresses of all people who have been stopped, arrested or issued a summons in castes that were later dismissed or resolved with a noncriminal violation.

NYPD officers say they had stop-and-frisk quotas

In July 2010, a state law was enacted prohibiting the NYPD from keeping a computer database of the names and personal information of people who were unjustly stopped, questioned or frisked by police officers and were neither arrested nor issued a summons.

"The NYPD had been in full compliance with the relevant legislation since it was passed in 2010. Accordingly, there was no practical reason to continue this litigation," said Paul Browne, deputy police commissioner.

One of the lead plaintiffs in the case, Clive Lino, was stopped more than once and was issued summonses that were later dismissed.

"It is a relief to know that my personal information will be cleared from the stop-and-frisk database," said Lino.

Lino, who is black, has been stopped at least 13 times by NYPD officers, according to the NYCLU.

"It is humiliating enough to be stopped and frisked for no reason, having your name and address kept in a police database only prolongs the indignity of it," he said.

Report: Most 'stopped and frisked' are minorities

The controversial method in which police stop, question and possibly search those they consider suspicious is used to deter crime, the police department has said.

"New Yorkers who are the victims of unjustified police stops will no longer suffer the further injustice of having their personal information stored indefinitely in an NYPD database," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.

The NYPD database will only erase records of those who were cleared of any wrongdoing, but will continue to maintain details of all other aspects of police stops.

There is also a federal class-action lawsuit that is still in the hands of a judge. The lawsuit claims that police officers routinely stop minority men, particularly black and Latino men, without legal reasons.

It also seeks to reform stop-and-frisk under the supervision of a court-appointed monitor.

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