Civil rights group challenges NY livery cab frisks

May 27, 2011 3:16:46 PM PDT
A civil rights group has sued the city of New York, saying a police practice meant to protect livery car drivers has subjected non-white passengers in the cars to unfair treatment.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on Thursday. The lawsuit said a police department practice designed to stop livery car drivers to talk to drivers about their well-being has gone too far. It says the police sometimes randomly frisk and question livery car riders.

The lawsuit says Blacks, Latinos and other non-whites are too often subjected to the practice because livery cabs operate mainly in non-white neighborhoods.

City law office spokeswoman Elizabeth Thomas said the city had not yet been served with the lawsuit but would review it thoroughly.