Drug War

NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Encounters Have Septupled Since Bloomberg Took Office

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The Wall Street Journal reports that police in New York City stopped and questioned a record 684,330 people without probable cause last year. Judging from the pattern in previous years, about half of the stops included pat-downs, ostensibly for weapons. Ninety-two percent of the people stopped were male, and 87 percent were black or Hispanic. Only 12 percent of the stops resulted in an arrest or summons. Although the NYPD says this strategy has reduced crime, Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, notes that "crime rates were going down before the skyrocketing stop-and-frisk campaign." 

The NYCLU says these stops have increased more than 600 percent since Michael Bloomberg's first year as mayor. Arrests for pot possession, which the New York legislature supposedly decriminalized in 1977, have shot up during the same period—not coincidentally, since many of the arrests stemming from the stop-and-frisk program are for "public display" of marijuana, a charge that transforms what would otherwise be a citable offense into a misdemeanor. As I noted in my column last week, New York cops frequently trick or coerce people into committing that offense by instructing them to take out any contraband they are carrying or by removing it from their pockets during pat-downs—a tactic Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tolerates even though he says it's illegal. 

The Journal reports that "critics of stop-and-frisk say the tactic is used disproportionately among minority men." That's an odd way of putting it, since that point is not a matter of dispute. According to the 2010 census, New York City is 23 percent non-Hispanic black, 29 percent Hispanic, and 33 percent white. By contrast, the breakdown for people detained by the police under the stop-and-frisk program in 2011 (88 percent of whom turned out to be innocent) was 53 percent black, 34 percent Hispanic, and 9 percent white. The proportions in prior years were similar. Lieberman comments:

It is not a crime to walk down the street in New York City, yet every day innocent black and brown New Yorkers are turned into suspects for doing just that. It is a stunning abuse of power that undermines trust between police and the community.

[Thanks to Richard Cowan for the tip.]

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28 responses to “NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Encounters Have Septupled Since Bloomberg Took Office

  1. Just because we pretend to care about the darkies doesn’t mean we actually want to have to see them.

    1. Just because we pretend to care about the darkies doesn’t mean we actually want to have to see them.

      Isn’t that why you liberals keep wanting “Community Centers” built? So you can feel good about giving back to the poor while making sure they have a place to gather… in their own communities?

  2. I would give anything to see them start stopping and frisking the staff of the New York Times. Hell, it would be the most action Maureen Dowd has seen in years.

    1. The coloreds at the Times are alright. They went to the right schools and dress the right way. We just want to keep the ones who wear their pants around their ankles to stay in their part of the city.

  3. The Journal reports that “critics of stop-and-frisk say the tactic is used disproportionately among minority men”?an odd way of putting it, since that point is not a matter of dispute.

    Yeah, but if you report that as a fact rather than as an opinion, it might lead readers to conclude that the NYPD is a bunch of racist fucks.

  4. Who woulda thunk Bloomberg would make Rudy make like a hippie on harrassive law enforcement?

    1. Dude, he’s managed to make Rudy look like a hands-off laissez-faire dreamboat in almost every way. It’s unbelievable. Bloomberg has to be possibly the worst mayor NYC has ever seen.

      1. Yeah. Most of the other horrible mayors before him were crazy and inept. He appears to be unfortunately ept.

      2. Amazing how the left makes the right look good, and the right makes the left look good.

    2. No kidding.

  5. So, wait, even if the cop is the one to pull a bag o’ weed out of your bag/pocket, you’re now on the hook for “displaying” it? Not that I’m surprised or anything.

    1. The cop was like, “Mr. White, you are being charged with drunk… in… publ-ic-kah!”

      I was like, “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! I was drunk in a bar. They threw me into pub-lic. I don’t want to be drunk in pub-lic, I want to be drunk in a bar, which is perfectly legal… arrest them!”

    2. “”So, wait, even if the cop is the one to pull a bag o’ weed out of your bag/pocket, you’re now on the hook for “displaying” it?””

      No, the cop isn’t pulling it out. The cop bullshits the person into doing themselves. Usually with a line like, show me what you have and make it easy on yourself. Considering failure to obey orders can result in being attacked with a stun gun, or shot to death, people do feel they have no option but to comply.

    1. I award you the entire Internets

    2. Oh my god that is hilariously true

  6. The excuse that this tactic reduces crime was predictable but is not at all acceptable. Not that it matters to His High Mightiness Bloomberg.

  7. New York cops frequently trick or coerce people into committing that offense by instructing them to take out any contraband they are carrying or by removing it from pockets during pat-downs, a tactic Police Commissioner Ray Kelly tolerates tolerates even though he says it’s illegal.

    This is what happens when the legislature changes the law. The cops ignore it. Can you cop apologists finally start apportioning the pigs some of the blame?

  8. And this is the folks who think us in Upstate NY are a bunch of redneck hicks? NYC residents need to stay there and out of Albany!

    At least we know what is in the Constitution. That makes us DANGEROUS!

  9. Call it what it is: stop, frisk, and plant drugs. I had the police criminals do that to me. I was arrested for disorderly conduct after a confrontation with a judge in a restaurant.

    Police will do whatever they can get away with. The law abiding citizens who respect cops and collaborate with them durring trials are the backbone of the police state. I let my friends, family, and neighbors who fit that category know how much I hate their guts. Libertarians should shed the yellow streak that runs down their back and use my tactic.

    1. Libertarians should shed the yellow streak that runs down their back and use my tactic.

      Um, what?

      1. I think he meant to say “snarky” streak.
        Do not discount the awesome power of snark, TELLMOFF.

      2. Hugh,read the previous sentence. Something is affecting your short-term memory.

  10. It is a stunning abuse of power that undermines trust between police and the community.

    To be fair, anybody who still trusts the police deserves to have that trust undermined.

    1. That, more thwn anything, gets to the heart of what is so detestable about neoconservatives, even when they pretend to be for smaller government.

  11. New York City is 23 percent non-Hispanic black

    So Hispanic blacks get their own category? How does this identity politics thing work, again?

  12. I am putting out a call for mass civil disobedience in defense of Stop & Frisk. Save Stop & Frisk from attack. This crime-stopping tool, when properly applied in high-black and high-brown areas, has brought down murder rates and kept the streets clean of people. It is now at last time for the white community to stand in solidarity with the black establishment in telling children to pull their pants up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S_Q4KumJNE

  13. It is hard to explain how bad the situation is, but I was stopped walking to the subway after leaving work around 830. I’m a newish i-banker, so I am not getting into a limo, but am wearing a nice suit and carrying a briefcase. And this is like right next to Times Square in a well lit nice part of Manhattan. Yet cops stopped me and demanded to know what was in the briefcase, who I worked for in the building, and if I had weapons on me. When I said no they pushed me against the wall and proceeded to frisk me. I was then sent along my way.

    I can’t imagine how a poor black kid would handle this.

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