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NC city council may halt police search practice

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) -- The Fayetteville City Council could vote to put a temporary freeze on a type of police search that has drawn criticism as disproportionately focusing on black residents.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that the city council is scheduled to vote Monday on a resolution that would halt so-called consent searches for four months.

In a consent search, police can ask drivers for permission to search a vehicle based on nothing more than a hunch.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Arp says he supports the police, but wants time for an independent review of the practice.

Police Chief Tom Bergamine defends the practice as a useful law enforcement tool, and says Fayetteville police searches aren't racially motivated.

If the council votes to approve the moratorium, it would begin on Feb. 1.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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