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Testimony ends in stop-frisk trial

New York City police officers demonstrate the stop-and-frisk

New York City police officers demonstrate the stop-and-frisk tactic at a training facility at Rodman's Neck. (June 12, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

Testimony in a 10-week trial over the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk tactics wrapped up on Friday, setting the stage for closing arguments on Monday before U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in federal court in Manhattan.

Participants said nearly 100 witnesses testified -- ranging from the targets of stops and the cops who stopped them, to whistle-blowing officers who taped station house directives and the commanders who pushed for more stops, to headquarters brass and experts on NYPD statistics and training.

Scheindlin has scheduled a full day of closing arguments on Monday, covering issues of whether there are widespread constitutional violations in the NYPD's use of the stop and frisk tactic as well as proposed remedies, such as the appointment of a court monitor, changes in the forms officers use to record stops, and improved training and supervision.

The plaintiffs in the case contend that the NYPD stops and frisks people without the "reasonable suspicion" required by the Supreme Court and disproportionately targets minorities. Statistics introduced at trial showed that stops escalated rapidly during the last decade, peaking at 684,000 in 2011, and one in 10 produced an arrest or summons. But the NYPD contends stops have played a key role in keeping crime down and guns off the street.

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