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Protesters Gather Outside Stop-And-Frisk Trial

Sign outside the NYPD Stop-and-Frisk trial in Manhattan (file / credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

Sign outside the NYPD Stop-and-Frisk trial in Manhattan (file / credit: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A protest was held Friday outside the federal courthouse where the stop-and-frisk trial is being held.

Protesters chanted and held up signs saying it’s not a crime to be black or Latino.

“The truth is the department’s own data shows that shootings have not significantly decreased despite the thousands of stops,” said John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor Dolores Jones-Brown.

“An infinitesimal number of guns have been found by stopping hundreds of thousands of innocent blacks and Latinos,” she added.

But the administration insists that stop, question, and frisk meets legal standards and is saving lives, predominately in minority neighborhoods.

Center for Constitutional Rights brought the lawsuit against the NYPD on behalf of four black plaintiffs who claim they were stopped by police because of their race. The center alleges that many of the 5 million stops in the past decade, mostly of black and Hispanic men, were made without cause.

Police officials say stop and frisk is a legal crime-stopping tool that has helped drive crime down to record lows. New York City saw the fewest number of murders in 2012 since comparable record keeping in the 1960s, and other major crimes are down to record lows, too.