'Stop and frisk': 7 questions about New York's controversial policing tactic

A federal judge has declared the New York Police Department’s 'stop and frisk' program to be unconstitutional, and new Mayor Bill de Blasio disavows it. Its use has abated under returned Police Commissioner William Bratton, but the fight over it continues. What is it, and does it work?

3. Why did a federal court rule the NYPD policy to be unconstitutional?

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    A protest against the New York Police Department's 'stop and frisk' program moves down Fifth Avenue in New York in June 2012.
    Seth Wenig/AP/File
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The court did not consider the legality or constitutionality of stop and frisk. Rather, a federal judge decided that New York's tactics violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure, and going beyond the court's "reasonable suspicion" guidelines.

The judge also ruled the NYPD's stop and frisk tactics illegally targeted minorities, who consistently made up about 85 percent of all stops. 

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