March 18, 2013 Associated Press
NEW YORK — A class-action suit challenging the New York Police Department's stop and frisk policy got under way Monday with a lawyer saying that officers have been wrongly stopping tens of thousands of young men based solely on their race.
Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights said the policy is legal, but the department is doing stops illegally. Changes must be ordered by a federal judge to ensure the department stops wrongly targeting black and Hispanic men, he said.
He called many of the half million annual stops a "frightening and degrading experience" for "thousands if not millions" of New Yorkers over the last decade. He called them "arbitrary, unnecessary and unconstitutional."
He promised plaintiffs will show the judge "powerful testimonial and statistical evidence" that New Yorkers are routinely stopped without suspicion.