Judge blocks key NYPD tactic: Scouring sealed arrest records

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NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has barred New York City police officers from accessing sealed arrest records without a court order. The preliminary injunction issued Monday halts a long-standing practice of plying confidential information to aid investigations, target suspects and shape policing decisions. The judge says the police department’s unfettered use of sealed records violated a 1976 state law shielding arrest and court files of criminal defendants whose cases end without a conviction. A spokesperson for the city Law Department says the NYPD “is evaluating its legal options.” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in an essay Monday in the Daily News says it’s a “serious setback for public safety.”

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