In response to new NYPD data showing that a steep decline in the number of stop-and-frisk encounters coincided with a drop in the city’s murder rate, the leadership of the New York Civil Liberties Union today released the following statement, which is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

"For years, Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly have rejected all criticism of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices by claiming that any reduction in the number of street stops would cause a spike in violent crime. The latest numbers demonstrate an opposite pattern: as street stops plummeted, the murder rate fell.

"It’s time that Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly abandon the scare tactics and engage New Yorkers in a meaningful discussion about reforming the practice of targeting black and Latino New Yorkers for unjustified and abusive police stops."

According to press reports, NYPD officers conducted 58,088 street stops during the second quarter of 2013 – a 42 percent decline from the year’s first quarter, when officers conducted 99,788 stops. It is a 57 percent drop from the same period in 2012, when officers performed 133,934 stops.

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration this week released crime data showing that there have been 77 fewer murders in the city during 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 – a decline of about 27 percent.