November 29, 2011 — The NYPD is on pace to stop and interrogate a record number of totally innocent New Yorkers in 2011, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union analysis of new police data. During the first three quarters of the year, police stopped totally innocent New Yorkers 451,000 times – the overwhelming majority of whom were black or Latino. NYPD officers have stopped more than 4 million New Yorkers since the Department began collecting data on the program in 2004.
“Entire neighborhoods in New York City are turning into Constitution-free zones,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. “A walk to the subway or corner deli should not carry the assumption that you will be confronted by police, but that is the disturbing reality for many New Yorkers. Racially biased policing undermines trust between residents and police, harming public safety. It’s time to hold the NYD accountable for its unlawful and destructive stop-and-frisk practices.”
According to the NYCLU’s analysis of new police reports, geographical and economic factors influenced the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices during the third quarter of 2011: All five precincts with the fewest stop-and-frisk encounters are concentrated below 59th Street in Manhattan and are majority white. Neighborhoods with the highest number of stop/frisk interrogations included Inwood/Washington Heights, Central Brooklyn, Far Rockaway, Eastern Queens and the North Shore of Staten Island – all low-income neighborhoods of color.
The latest stop-and-frisk report shows that the NYPD stopped and interrogated New Yorkers 152,311 times between July 1 and Sept. 30. About 88 percent of those encounters did not result in arrests or tickets. Nearly 85 percent of those stopped were black or Latino. Whites, who represent 33 percent of the city’s population, accounted for less than 9 percent of people stopped.
During the first three quarters of 2011, police have conducted more than 514,000 street stops. The NYPD is on track to conduct just more than 675,000 street stops this year, which would be an almost 13 percent increase over the number of stops recorded in 2010 and an all-time record. At this rate, officers made the 4 millionth street stop since they began keeping records on the practice in early November.
“Stopping and frisking millions of innocent New Yorkers is neither wise nor effective,” NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn said. “We are deeply concerned about this practice and the toll it is taking on law-abiding blacks and Latinos.”