New Orleans Police
12:12 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Serpas defends use of police database

New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas is defending a department policy that has led to more than 70,000 people having their names and personal information fed into an electronic database following traffic and pedestrian stops even if they weren't arrested.

Serpas tells The Times-Picayune that officers are "utilizing judgment in accordance with law and professional practice" in filling out "field interview cards" after stopping and questioning people.

But the newspaper reports that it's unclear how many names may have been improperly entered into the database.

Civil rights groups and the Justice Department have questioned whether the department's widespread use of the cards violates privacy rights.

Department data shows that officers fill about roughly 200 of the cards every day.

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