Civil Liberties Union: Stopped and Frisked Database Is Illegal

Wednesday, May 19, 2010  |  Updated 4:45 PM EDT
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Civil Liberties Union: Stopped and Frisked Database Is Illegal

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POMONA, CA - NOVEMBER 12: A man stands handcuffed as a female police officer posing as a prostitute fills out paperwork before returning to Holt Boulevard, known to sex workers throughout southern California as "the track", during a major prostitution sting operation November 12, 2004 in Pomona, California. Approximately 60 to 80 men are arrested each night during the sting operations. Cars driven by the arrested men are seized and become city property until a $1000 fine is paid. Each vehicle is then labeled with a large window sticker stating that the car was ?seized for solicitation of prostitution? and the photos of the men appear in a full-page ad in the local newspaper. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

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The New York Civil Liberties Union says a database with the names and addresses of hundreds of thousands of people stopped, questioned and frisked by police is illegal.

The NYCLU says state law requires that records relating to a summons or an arrest be sealed unless the person is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime.

It filed a lawsuit Wednesday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

The database grew out of a 2001 law. It required the NYPD to give lawmakers quarterly information on people it has stopped. Last year, the total was 575,304.

Police use the database as a tool to investigate crime. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday he hasn't seen the lawsuit but reiterated the importance of the database.

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