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CRIME

Detroit traffic cops learning stop and frisk tactics

AP

Detroit, a city plagued by an increase of murders and shootings, is considering implementing the controversial police practice known as stop and frisk.

The practice allows police officers to stop and search individuals that fit descriptions of suspects or people engaged in suspicious activity. Opponents say minorities are often unfairly targeted. Last week, a New York judge ruled stop and frisk unconstitutional. New York promised to appeal the ruling and credit the city's drop in crime to the program, MyFoxDetroit.com reported.

Erik Ewing, an assistant police chief in Detroit, told MyFoxDetroit.com that the policy is not racial profiling, "just officers doing good constitutional police work." He went on to say the Detroit police department is already a stop-and-frisk agency.

Detroit is using the Manhattan Institute and Bratton Group, the same consultants that the NYPD used to train its officers. Detroit's traffic police are going to be trained to "prevent street crime through the use of traffic stops," The Detroit News reported.

The paper's report said the consultants are implementing stop and frisk in these officers' contracts and the traffic unit will "evolve its mission from principally the issuance of tickets toward the prevention of crime."

During an appearance Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly argued that stop and frisk saves lives. He noted that 97 percent of shooting victims are black or Hispanic, and he reasons those saved have the same demographics.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that "you can't give people the authority, whether civilian or police officers, the right to just stop somebody because of the color of their skin."

The Associated Press contributed to this report