The sharply divided court ruled, three to two, that an NYPD officer who found the gun during a stop-and-frisk encounter did not have sufficient cause to search the 14-year-old boy.
According to the majority opinion, the Family Court judge was wrong when he ruled the arresting officer could perform a search "under the guise that the officer claimed to perceive some threat to his personal safety."
A dissenting opinion argued that an officer fearing for his safety should be able frisk a suspect, and that the ruling inappropriately tried to turn the case "into a referendum on the NYPD's policing tactics."
The city law department plans to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.
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