State Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn), a former NYPD police captain, testified on Monday morning that New York City's controversial "stop and frisk" program was intended to intimidate ethnic minorities.

He told a federal court in Manhattan that NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly admitted as much during July 2010 meeting, according to the New York Post.

Kelly "stated that he targeted or focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them that any time they leave their homes they could be targeted by police," Adams told the court. The police commissioner allegedly suggested targeting ethnic minorities with "stop and frisk" searches was the only way to get rid of illegal guns.

New York City’s stop and frisk policy allows police officers to stop, question and search anyone merely for appearing suspicious.

A judge approved a class action lawsuit over the searches last year. The lawsuit alleged that the stop and frisk policy violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and disproportionately targeted minorities. About 90 percent of the 684,330 people stopped in 2011 were innocent and 87 percent were either African American or Hispanic.

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[Image via Azi Paybarah, Creative Commons-licensed]