Report: Nine Out of 10 People Stopped and Frisked in 2012 Were Innocent

The New York Civil Liberties Union's new report shows flaws in the NYPD's controversial stop and frisk program.

Posted: 05/23/2013 09:09 AM EDT
REport: Nine Out of Ten People Stopped and Frisked in 2012 Were Innocent

Since its inception, the NYPD’s controversial stop and frisk program has been under scrutiny for disproportionately targeting African-Americans and Latinos. The trial challenging the program concluded on Monday and a New York federal judge will decide stop and frisk’s future.

In the wake of the landmark case ending, New York Civil Liberties Union has released a new stop and frisk report, which continues to show the program’s flaws.

The analysis finds racial disparities and ineffectiveness in the NYPD’s stop and frisk program to recover illegal guns in 2012. New data also shows the stops are linked to the city’s “soaring arrest rates for marijuana possession.”

In 2012, the NYPD stopped people 532,911 times. Nine out of 10 of those people were neither arrested nor ticketed and 87 percent were Black or Latino. White people were only 10 percent of stops.

NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman says in the analysis statement that the program “remains a tremendous waste of resources, sows mistrust between police and the communities of color and routinely violates fundamental rights.”

The NYCLU reports:

The 532,911 stops in 2012 (a 22-percent decrease from 2011) were spread unevenly amongst the city’s 76 police precincts, with the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn (East New York) leading the city with 24,408 stops and, excluding the Central Park Precinct, the 17th Precinct in Manhattan (Kips Bay) having the fewest stops at 1,331.

In 71 out of 76 precincts, Black and Latino people accounted for more than 50 percent of stops, and in 36 precincts they accounted for more than 90 percent of stops. In the 10 precincts with the lowest Black and Latino populations (such as the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village), Blacks and Latinos accounted for more than 70 percent of stops in six of those precincts.

Young Black and Latino men were the targets of a hugely disproportionate number of stops. Though they account for only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, Black and Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 40.6 percent of stops in 2012. The number of stops of young Black men neared the entire city population of young Black men (133,119 as compared to 158,406). More than 90 percent of young Black and Latino men stopped were innocent.

Though frisks can be legally conducted only when an officer reasonably suspects the person has a weapon that might endanger officer safety, 55.8 percent of those stopped in 2012 were frisked. Of those frisked, a weapon was found only 2 percent of the time.

Read full data report here.

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(Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

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