NY stop and frisk challenge heads to federal court

March 18, 2013
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FILE - In this Sunday, June 17, 2012 file photo, Rev. Al Sharpton, center, walks with thousands along Fifth Avenue, during a silent march to end the "stop-and-frisk" program in New York. A federal trial is scheduled to begin in New York on Monday, March 18, 2013, where the NYPD’s practice of stopping, questioning and frisking people on the street will face a sweeping legal challenge. The outcome could bring major changes to the nation's largest police force and could affect how other departments use the stop and frisk tactic. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer in a class-action suit challenging the New York Police Department's stop and frisk policy 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 says the policy is legal, but the department is doing stops illegally. He says changes must be ordered by a federal judge to ensure the department stops wrongly targeting black and Hispanic men.

The civil case began Monday. Charney says say the trial will include stories from a dozen black and Hispanic men who say they were targeted because of their race. Police officers and criminologists are also scheduled to testify.

The suit seeks a court-appointed monitor to oversee changes to how the police make stops.