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A Closer Look at Stop-and-Frisk in NYC

Two decades of detailed NYPD data provide a window into who is stopped and frisked by NYPD officers. They are most likely to be people of color, and disproportionately likely to be young and Black. The analysis below dissects stop-and-frisk’s rise and fall over time, where stops take place, and the practice’s disproportionate impact on young people and people of color.

Nine of the ten precincts with the highest stop rates have been in predominantly Black and Brown neighborhoods (defined as over 80 percent residents of color). Six of the ten precincts have been home almost exclusively to Black and Brown residents (defined as over 90 percent residents of color).

People of Color are Consistently Stopped at Higher Rates

One of the most dramatic and consistent aspects of stop-and-frisk is its disproportionate impact on New Yorkers of color, particularly Black New Yorkers.

From 2003-2023, 90 percent of people stopped by the NYPD were people of color. Black and Latinx New Yorkers made up 52 percent and 31 percent of all stops despite being 23 and 29 percent of the population, respectively. White New Yorkers only made up 10 percent of stops though they represent 33 percent of the population.

Racial Composition of Stops

This means Black people were stopped at a rate nearly eight times greater than white people, and Latinx people were stopped at a rate four times greater. Though they represent a smaller portion of total stops, American Indian people were stopped at a rate six times greater than white people, the second highest rate of any racial category. The racial disparities of stops has remained consistent year-to-year, despite the dramatic drop in overall stops since the early 2010s.

NYPD officers also disproportionately frisked and used force against Black and Latinx people, despite arrests and summonses being similar rates to white people. NYPD officers were also more likely to use force against Black and Latinx people than they were to use force against white people.

Young People are Disproportionately Impacted

Stop-and-frisk has disproportionately impacted young people, many of them children. Young people aged 18-24 represent 35 percent of all stops from 2003-2023. In the last two decades 18-24-year-olds were stopped 2,070 times for every 1,000 18-24-year-olds who reside in New York City. Young people aged 15-17 represent 13 percent of stops and have an even higher stop rate, 2,127 stops per 1,000 people. While adults aged 25-34 accounted for 25 percent of all stops, their stop rate, 900 per 1,000 people, was less than half the stop rate of people aged 15-24.

Stops by Age

Once stopped, the NYPD conducted frisks, issued arrests, and used force against children and adults at very similar rates. For example, 10–14-year-olds were frisked in 54 percent of stops and arrested in seven percent of stops. Force was used in 24 percent of stops. All these figures compare closely to 25–34-year-olds who are stopped.

Racialized Treatment of Young People

The NYPD has stopped young people of color at rates far greater than any other. Black and Latinx 15-24-year-olds account for approximately 40 percent of all stops. They were frisked in approximately 60 percent of stops, compared to white 15-24-year-olds who were frisked 44 percent of the time – despite having nearly identical arrest rates.

Stops by Race and Age Range (ten greatest stop rates)

Black people aged 18-24 were stopped over 900,000 times from 2003-2022. They accounted for 18 percent of all stops, nearly double the number experienced by white people of all ages (close to 500,000 times). Over the last two decades, Black 18-24-year-olds living in New York City have been stopped four times, on average.

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