Newark goes public with stop-and-frisk policy; praised by ACLU
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NEWARK - Newark's new policy requires police to make public the race, gender and age of every person they stop and frisk in monthly reports.
Newark police will disclose specific information about each person they stop, including whether or not that person was frisked, why they were frisked and what the result of the search was. The number of Internal Affairs complaints received each month and the results of those complaints will also be disclosed, as well as the number of students stopped and the level of English proficiency of each person police approach on a monthly basis.
Police Director Samuel DeMaio believes by being transparent, it will help the city avoid issues before they develop. Many residents expressed concern that names were going to be posted, but DeMaio says that is in no way the case.
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Stop-and-frisk policies are enacted based on a 1968 Supreme Court decision that declared a citizen's protection against unreasonable search is not violated if an officer has reasonable suspicion that they committed a crime.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) praised Newark's move as one of the most comprehensive and transparent policies in the country.
"Newark residents for the first time ever will have a clear sense of who is being stopped by police, why they're being stopped, and whether stop and frisk is being used against innocent people or in a discriminatory manner," says ACLU Executive Director Udi Ofer.
The department will disclose the names of the officers. According to attorney Darrin Del Sardo, that could influence the way suspects are defended.
"Certainly you can cross examine an officer based upon the number of times he stopped somebody," says Del Sardo, "and the number of times that officer's suspicions were accurate."
The Newark Police Department will put out the data for the month of July on August 15.