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Critics of the New York Police Department's stop, question and frisk policy rallied in front of the federal courthouse in Manhattan after a judge heard key testimony in a class action lawsuit that seeks to reform the contentious crime reduction strategy.

Among the critics was the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who told those gathered in Foley Square that systemic forms of discrimination exist across the country.

"Those who stand today give voice to a national crisis," Jackson said. "There's nothing more painful than to be a victim of something you can’t do nothing about — the color of your skin."

Groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, LatinoJustice, VOCAL-NY, New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York and others were represented at the rally in support of the class action lawsuit filed against the city for its continued use of stop-and-frisk.

Trial in the case, Floyd et al. v. the City of New York, began in the Southern District of New York hours before.

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