Monday marks the start of the seventh week in the federal trial against the New York City Police Department and its stop-and-frisk tactics. NY1's Criminal Justice reporter Dean Meminger takes a detailed look at a video shown in court to train officers on the controversial practice.
The New York City Police Department uses a nine-minute video to teach and re-train officers on how to spot a person who might be carrying a gun. It was played by city attorneys during the federal stop-and-frisk trial last week.
The video instructs, "When frisking a suspect, do your job thoroughly. Don't be shy about going into the crotch area."
It also mentions potential signs that a person may be carrying a concealed weapon. They include:
A suspicious bulge at the waist line under a shirt or jacket.
The outline of a gun in a pocket.
A shirt worn on the outside under a jacket.
Inappropriate clothing such as a warm rain jacket worn on a clear day
A tilted shopping bag.
A zipper pouch, cradled in hand that appears unusually heavy.
The carrying of an elongated package that could contain a riffle or shotgun
A suspect walking with a stiff leg could indicate a long gun concealed in a pants leg.
A suspect running with his hands in his pocket.
The video does say these are only tips and may not be reason enough to stop, question and frisk a person.
City attorneys played it during testimony by NYPD Deputy Chief James Shea, who works for the police department's anti-gang initiative.
NY1 recorded a training exercise last year at the police academy as Shea showed the media how officers are instructed on how to stop, question and frisk suspects.
Shea told the court the NYPD video can help get guns off the street, but officers should be using good discretion when stopping people, because it isn't "pleasant" for those who are stopped.
The video also re-enacts real arrests made by police who spotted bad guys.
One person on the video says, "We observed an individual who was walking rather nervously, he was looking around, not sure were he was. he had started to adjust an object in his right waistband.
He continues, "The subject began to flee. After brief distance we observed this guy take a firearm from his right waistband side and throw it to the ground. After a short distance we were able to apprehend him."
Shea is due back on the stand for the city Monday. Plaintiffs in the federal trial are suing to have a court monitor oversee stop-and-frisks.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says it is unnecessary, that officers are trained not to use racial profiling when conducting stops.
"A lot of training, ongoing training program up at our Rodman's Neck range. We use attorneys, we use that video," Kelly says. "So we are very much concerned about the issue but I believe we are on top of it. And I believe that training video if you saw it, is very well done."
But it is up to a federal judge to have the final say on how the NYPD handles stop-and-frisks.