Stop and Frisk

Stop-and-Frisk in Court, Police Testify About Orders to Increase Stops, Democrats Jockey Ahead of Election

Stop it


one or two out of three

The NYPD's stop and frisk program began in 2002 and since then, according to data compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union,  the police have conducted 4 million such "interrogations," peaking in 2011 with 685,724. The vast majority of stops are of blacks and Hispanics. Little more than ten percent end in any kind of summons.  

The program is currently being challenged in court, where testimony yesterday revealed police officers were ordered to increase their number of stop and frisks. "The goal is at least one arrest per month and 20 summons," a supervisor was heard saying on tape played in court. The plaintiff's attorneys say it amounts to a quota, but the city defends the practice as being related to performance goal. It says most stops are being made of blacks and Hispanics because police are sent to neighborhoods with minority-on-minority crime.

The city is giving credit in court to the stop and frisk program for a decrease in crime. In defending the program, the mayor has previously boasted just 6,000 weapons recovered in 8 years, a hit rate much lower than 1 percent.In fact that rate of guns found dropped (from .38 to .033 percent) as stop and frisks have risen, which the mayor used as evidence the program was working.

The first election in 16 years in New York City not to feature Michael Bloomberg will take place in November, and the issue of stop and frisk has been seized by Democratic candidates jockeying ahead of the mayoral primary. Stop and frisk has been going on for more than a decade, with more than four million stops, but it's an election year that brings it to the attention of lawmakers who have been in office for years. They're now trying to create an independent inspector general's office to oversee the NYPD. Critics say the NYPD already receives plenty of oversight ("two U.S. attorneys, five district attorneys, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, lawsuits filed by citizens and activists, the Department of Investigation, the Commission to Combat Police Corruption and a 700-member Internal Affairs Bureau" as the New York Daily News put it.)

For his part, the mayor promises to veto the legislation for an inspector general. Christine Quinn, speaker of the City Council and an architect of the legislation, says suggestions by officials in the Bloomberg administration to wait and see if the court appoints a federal monitor for stop and frisk indicates they know there's a problem that demands action. This has been going on since 2002. Didn't she know there was a problem that demanded action before an open election appeared on the horizon?

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  1. This has been going on since 2002. Didn’t she know there was a problem that demanded action before an open election appeared on the horizon?

    If I didn’t absolutely know better, I would almost think that Team Blue’s commitment to civil liberties was a cynical political calculation and not a genuine concern.

  2. I like that Republicans get called racists for wanting to cut spending while left-wing cities can illegally search millions of disproportionately black and Hispanic people without having to so much as justify it.

    1. But everyone knows Bloomberg is a Republican.

  3. Unsurprisingly, when the race of a gun using criminal suspect is known the vast majority of the time the suspect is black or Hispanic.

    1. Unsurprisingly, when someone makes an observation about race and crime, they’re usually a racist pig-fucker.

      1. No, that requires one more step: Extending those attributes to people of that same race who have not committed those crimes.

    2. According to the NYCLU’s review of the NYPD data: “Black and Latino New Yorkers were more likely to be frisked than whites and, among those frisked, were less likely to be found with a weapon”

      1. That’s probably because the cops were frisking everyone they found suspicious. Therefore, when they frisked a white guy, it was actually because he was acting suspicious. But when they frisked a black guy, it’s because the NYPD is staggeringly racist and finds all black people suspicious.

        That would be my assumption.

        1. Sound about right. Either way, it’s impossible to derive any kind of conclusion about who carries guns more often from the data.

          And, quite frankly, I don’t give a damn. Carrying a gun doesn’t hurt anyone, and just because someone is carrying a gun, even illegally, doesn’t mean they’re a criminal. It could just mean they live in a rough neighborhood in a city that routinely violates its inhabitants right to bear arms and felt the need to protect themselves.

  4. I don’t understand what the NYPD’s stats have to do with the court hearing. One question matters: is this in violation of the Constitution? Hell, I could come up with a way to lower crime that would involve having a personal cop for every “civilian”. They could frisk them after they got out of the shower in the morning and even wipe their ass for them. The fact that it reduced crime wouldn’t mean a goddamn thing IRT constitutionality of the law. And the same goes for the cops’ stats.

    FWIW, I’m pretty certain this is a horrible infringement on individual rights. But I’m equally certain the NYPD and city government doesn’t really give a flying fuck.

    1. You haven’t figured out the ordering of importance in factoring a law or practice’s constitutionality, have you?

      1. Office safety.

      2. Prosecutorial convenience.

      3. Effectiveness in lowering “crime*”

      4. Officer safety (K9)

      5. The constitution (optional)

      * crime here refers to anything against the law, lowering crime doesn’t necessarily make citizens safer.

      1. 5. The constitution (optionalfor abortion only)

    2. “administrative search”…. yeah, they can do it. Even Thomas agrees.

      Well, sometimes, even Justice Thomas is wrong.

  5. Samuel. I see what you mean… Mike`s st0ry is terrific, I just purchased a great new Subaru Impreza from bringing in $4301 this month and-over, 10-k last-month. it’s certainly the coolest work Ive ever done. I actually started 7-months ago and almost straight away made myself at least $72 per/hr. I work through this website,

  6. Those stupid cops are really starting to get annoying.

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