Back to All Press Release

New NYCLU Analysis Reveals Magnitude and Stark Racial Disparities in NYPD Traffic Stops

NEW YORK CITY – Today, the New York Civil Liberties Union released an analysis revealing, for the first time, the sheer volume, stark racial disparities, and geographic disparities of the NYPD’s vehicle stops. The newly public data, which covers January 2022 through June 2023, was obtained following the NYCLU’s litigation and shows that officers are more likely to stop, arrest, search, and use force against Black and Latinx drivers throughout the city, especially in particular neighborhoods.

Key findings include: 

  • The NYPD made more than one million traffic stops from January 2022 through June 2023. Nearly 90 percent of people arrested during a traffic stop were Black or Latinx.
  • The NYPD issued a ticket in about 650,000 stops, made an arrest in around 24,000 stops, searched a vehicle in close to 21,000 stops, and seized a vehicle in approximately 9,000 stops.
  • The NYPD reported use-of-force in 557 traffic stops. Approximately 91 percent of drivers subject to use-of-force cases were Black or Latinx.
  • Black and Latinx drivers are disproportionately stopped, accounting for 32 percent and 29 percent of traffic stops, respectively, while they each represent approximately 22 percent of the driving population.
  • Black drivers were searched at a rate roughly nine times greater than the rate that white drivers were. Latinx drivers were searched at a rate roughly six times greater than the rate that white drivers were.

“The analysis released today exposes the scope and impact of NYPD traffic stops, and the extent to which they disproportionately harm Black and Brown drivers in our city. The troubling findings make crystal clear that traffic stops are the new stop-and-frisk in New York City,” said Ify Chikezie, staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Data plays a critical role in exposing and challenging abusive and discriminatory policing. We will continue to analyze this data, and hope this helps New Yorkers have an informed discussion on the dangers of police vehicle stops, and possible non-police responses to routine traffic enforcement.”

The NYCLU’s analysis uses data released by the NYPD following the NYCLU’s litigation. In 2021, the City Council passed legislation requiring the NYPD to publish quarterly summary reports on vehicle stops, which hid incident-level, disaggregated data. On March 23, 2023, the NYCLU filed a lawsuit against the department for withholding the complete database of its vehicle stops during the first half of 2022. In May 2023, the NYPD produced the database for those stops. On July 6, 2023, the NYCLU filed a lawsuit requesting the NYPD to produce the database for stops made in the second half of 2022 and first half of 2023. The NYCLU obtained the requested data on August 18, 2023.

Link to the NYCLU’s report here:

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union