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“In short, the NSZ stop has nothing in common with the stop upheld in Lidster and everything in common with the unconstitutional stop in Edmond,” Judge Sentelle wrote. “In neither case was there reason for the stop unrelated to the crime control purpose. The reason for stopping the individuals in each case was the possibility, without individualized suspicion, that the driver stopped might be the potential perpetrator of an as-yet undetected, perhaps uncommitted, crime.”

Judge Sentelle went on to say there was no denying that “citizens have a right to drive upon the public streets of the District of Columbia or any other city absent a constitutionally sound reason for limiting their access.”

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, who argued the case for the Partnership for Civil Justice, called the decision a “total victory” and said she had “grave concerns” that other jurisdictions would institute similar police tactics if the District prevailed in the case.

“This decision is extremely significant because if the government had succeeded in establishing military-style checkpoints in D.C., it would have been a model used in urban areas around the country,” she said.

D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, also applauded the decision, saying the police department needed to pursue more effective, proven strategies.

“Roadblocks sound good - theyre a ‘get tough’ approach - but they are controversial and often illegal,” he said. “There are much more effective strategies, as police Chief Cathy Lanier has shown, that have the communitys support and reduce crime.”