Sense of Deception

NYPD stop-and-frisk policy feels heat from City Council members


BY Rocco Parascandola and John Lauinger

Thursday, March 11th 2010, 4:00 AM

Two influential City Council members took dead aim at the NYPD‘s controversial stop-and-frisk policy on Wednesday, saying there is “serious concern” privacy rights are being violated.

In a letter to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens) criticized the NYPD’s policy of saving personal information of people who are stopped and questioned but not charged with any wrongdoing.

Compiling such information in a database “raises significant privacy-right concerns and suggests that these innocent people are more likely to be targeted in future criminal investigations,” they wrote.

Quinn and Vallone, who is chairman of the Council’s Public Safety Committee and whose father is former Speaker Peter Vallone, asked Kelly to explain when cops are allowed to search the database. They also asked for specific examples of when information from the database was helpful in cracking a case.

“They make some interesting points that Commissioner Kelly is considering,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said in an e-mail.

Browne said the database is not made public and is used by detectives for investigations.

The NYPD announced last month that it stopped and questioned more people last year – 575,304 – than in any year since a 2001 law forced it to report the data.

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