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France court rules ID checks not discriminatory

A French court on Wednesday held that ID checks are legal under French law and are not discriminatory. The case was brought [AP report] by 13 individuals from minority groups who were subject to ID checks, requesting €10,000 (USD $13,000) in compensation for each. In addition, they sought to amend the law to require written reports for ID checks that would provide legitimate reasons. The proposal to require written reports was rejected in the past, but there is a plan to mandate police officers to wear identifying numbers. Anti-racism groups criticized the recent ruling as allowing police to discriminate against minorities. The plaintiffs plan to appeal the decision.

A similar issue was recently brought before a US federal court. In September the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] denied [JURIST report] New York City's (NYC) motion to stay her order regarding the New York City Police Department (NYPD) [official website] stop-and-frisk policy. Judge Shira Scheindlin had ruled [JURIST report] a month earlier that the policy violated the Fourth Amendment and ordered the policy to be ceased until a final judgment was issued. JURIST Guest Columnist Samar Warsi stated that police should not be permitted [JURIST Op-ed] to perpetually contravene the structures of the Fourth Amendment. Also in September NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg filed suit [JURIST report] against the City Council in an effort to overturn recently-enacted legislation relating to the NYPD stop-and-frisk program. The legislation at issue, Local Law 71 of 2013, is a bill that expands the definition of racial profiling and gives New Yorkers who believe they were targeted the right to sue police in state court. In July of last year a report issued by a coalition of legal rights organizations said that the NYPD used excessive force and violated the rights of protesters [JURIST report] who participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. A month earlier, a Muslim rights group filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in New Jersey seeking to end the department's controversial surveillance program, which allegedly targets individuals based on religious affiliation. In May of last year, following an investigation into the NYPD's surveillance program, New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa concluded that it did not violate the Constitution.

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