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Activists on trial for arrests during NYPD 'stop and frisk' policy protest

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Oct. 21, 2011: Political activist, Dr. Cornel West, center, is taken into custody by New York City police officers at a "Stop and Frisk" policy protest in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood in New York. (AP)

Nearly two dozen demonstrators arrested last year while protesting the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy have gone on trial.

Some 22 people arrested in October outside a Harlem police station appeared in court Monday.

Two accepted offers to get their cases dismissed by staying out of trouble for six months.

The group on trial includes Princeton University professor and civil rights activist Cornel West. It's one of the biggest groups to go to trial together over political protest arrests in New York City in recent years.

Police say protestors blocked the entrance to the precinct and ignored orders to leave.

Defense lawyers have said there's reasonable doubt that any laws were broken.

The judge on Monday barred them from making another argument: that the protestors' conduct was justified.

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