Civil Liberties Safeguarded: Governor Signs Senator Adams' "Stop, Question, Frisk Database" Legislation Into Law

Eric Adams

July 16, 2010

NYS Senator Eric Adams today attended the signing into law of his legislation terminating the “Stop, Question, Frisk” Database of the INNOCENT.

 Senator Adams states: “Governor Paterson today signed into law my bill S.7945A, legislation prohibiting an electronic database that retains the personal information of individuals who are stopped and questioned (and perhaps frisked) by police but released immediately without being charged with a crime or a violation.

 “My legislation does not prohibit the use of “stop, question, frisk,” but it does end the practice in which the NYPD stores in a computer database the personal information of the INNOCENT.

 “The NYPD has maintained this database of people who have been stopped, questioned, and frisked, even if those persons are INNOCENT of any wrongdoing. This is an un-American invasion of privacy. People of color are especially victimized: 80-90% of those stopped are black or Hispanic.

 “The signing of my legislation into law signifies that the police must cease compiling a database of those not even arrested or given a summons after being stopped, questioned, and frisked. They may collect information concerning where a stop and frisk occurs, or generic information about those stopped (race, sex, physical features), but they may not enter into an electronic database any personal information, such as the name, social security number, or address, of INNOCENT individuals who are stopped but released without further action. This statutory prohibition is needed to protect the privacy and due process rights of the hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers who are stopped but released each year.

 “I am extremely gratified that my bill to amend criminal procedure law in relation to the temporary questioning of persons in public places (commonly referred to as ‘stop, question, and frisk') was passed in the State Senate and that Assemblyman Jeffries' companion bill was passed in the Assembly. I was proud to look on as Governor Paterson signed the legislation into law."