Al Baker
NY Times
May 16, 2012

Saying the New York Police Department seems to have little regard for constitutional rights, a federal judge on Wednesday elevated to class action status a lawsuit accusing officers of using race as a factor in stopping people on the city’s streets, opening the door to a vast number of additional plaintiffs.

The decision by the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, of Federal District Court, (see also below) provides possible legal recourse for hundreds of thousands of people who have been caught up in the Police Department’s increasingly vigorous stop-and-frisk practices, which critics say unjustly ensnares blacks and Latinos.

Over the weekend, in fact, the police disclosed that they had made more than 200,000 such stops in the first three months of 2012 – placing the Bloomberg administration on course for the largest number of annual stops in the 10 years the department has been measuring them.

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