Achieving fair and just policing for all New Yorkers has been a cornerstone of the NYCLU’s work for decades. The NYCLU and our partners in the community have played a driving role in the momentous movement to reform the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices.
The NYCLU and leading police reform advocates in New York City have united to achieve fair and dignified policing under a campaign, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR). The campaign – which has quickly become the premier police reform campaign in New York – is pursuing an aggressive, integrated program of policy reform, research, public education, organizing, and litigation to achieve major reforms to NYPD policies and practices. You can learn more about Communities United for Police Reform at www.changethenypd.org.
In 2013, along with CPR, the NYCLU worked with City Councilmember Jumaane Williams to introduce and pass a legislative package to crack down on discriminatory police practices. The package, named the Community Safety Act, was aimed at ending discriminatory policing and bringing real accountability to the NYPD. To learn more about the legislation, click here.
In May 2011, the NYCLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s unlawful practice of detaining, questioning and searching innocent New Yorkers who are riding in livery cars. The NYPD uses its Taxi/Livery Inspection Program (TRIP) to expand the reach of its stop-and-frisk practices. On May 15, 2012 the case reached a settlement, under which NYPD officers have been instructed not to question, frisk, search or demand identification from livery passengers unless the officer has independent suspicion of criminal behavior.
In March 2012, the NYCLU, along with LatinoJustice PRLDEF and The Bronx Defenders, filed a federal class-action lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s Operation Clean Halls program, a part of the department’s stop-and-frisk program that allows police officers to patrol thousands of private apartment buildings across New York City. The Clean Halls program violates the rights of residents of those buildings and their guests – largely black and Latino New Yorkers. The NYCLU created videos documenting the detrimental consequences that Operation Clean Halls has on the everyday lives of impacted New Yorkers. After winning a preliminary injunction in January 2013, a full settlement was signed by the court in July 2017, with the parties continuing a remedial process for several years to come. For more details about the case and settlement, click here.
Analyses and Reporting
In May 2012, the NYCLU released our first stop-and-frisk report, the most comprehensive public analysis ever done on NYPD stop-and-frisk activity. The report is based on data from the NYPD’s 2011 computerized stop-and-frisk database. The NYCLU’s analysis examines multiple aspects of the 2011 stop-and-frisk data, including stops, frisks, use of force, recovery of weapons, locations of stops and reasons for stops, and demographics of people stopped, as well as detailed information at a precinct level and a close examination of race-related aspects of stop-and-frisk practices.
In March 2019, the NYCLU released a new comprehensive analysis of NYPD stop-and-frisk-practices using data from the NYPD’s 2014 to 2017 stop-and-frisk databases. The report, Stop-and-Frisk in the de Blasio Era, highlights that despite a drastic decrease in reported stops since 2011, racial disparities in stop-and-frisk activity remain.