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Newark Police Department To Publish Stop-And-Frisk Data Online

Per the New Jersey Law Journal:

"The Newark Police Department has agreed to require that its officers document every stop-and-frisk interaction and to report statistics monthly on the Web.

"The new policy, implemented Monday by General Order No. 2013-03, is meant to "affirm the commitment in continuing to develop positive relations between the Newark Police Department and the community."

"It resulted from months of meetings among Mayor Cory Booker, police director Samuel DeMaio and the American Civil Liberties Union's New Jersey chapter.

"Udi Ofer, the ACLU-NJ executive director, says Newark police already had been documenting much of the pertinent information but not compiling, summarizing and publishing it.

"The data is to be maintained by the Office of Professional Standards (OPS), which monitors officers' behavior, conducts audits and investigates complaints, officer firearm discharges, vehicle pursuits and corruption allegations."

***

"The state Attorney General's Office has not issued stop-and-frisk policies or guidelines but routinely trains law enforcement on constitutional law as applied to stop-and-frisk practices, says spokesman Peter Aseltine. He declines comment on Newark's directive.

"Darren Gelber, president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, says the department "should be applauded in any effort to increase transparency," calling the directive a "tremendous step forward."

"The collected data might be useful to attorneys trying to claim pretext or discrimination in their clients' matters, says Gelber, a partner at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer in Woodbridge.

"He compares the directive with the state police's 1999 consent decree with federal authorities barring troopers from basing traffic stops on racial or ethnic profiling.

"Newark police director Samuel DeMaio did not respond to an interview request by press time Tuesday."

Full article after the jump...