The NYPD released a report last night showing they stopped-and-frisked a record number of people in 2011, with blacks making up 53% of the stops, followed by Latinos at 34%, and whites around 9%. "The nearly 686,000 stops conducted in 2011 equated to less than one stop per police officer per week among the 19,600 officers on patrol during the period," Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne said in an email. Brooklyn's 75th Precinct, which covers East New York, Cypress Hills, Starrett City and City Line, saw the most stops, with 31,100—97% of them involved blacks and Hispanics.
Blacks and Latinos together make up 52.8% of the population in the city, yet they represented roughly 87% of all stop and frisks in 2010. You wouldn't surmise that from this Daily News headline on the report: "No racial profiling in 'stop and frisk:' NYPD report."
“We’re constantly accused, unfairly, of racism, like we’re looking only to stop minorities,” Browne tells the tabloid. “That is not true. Are there more stops in [East New York] than in Riverdale? Yes. Why? Because there is more crime there and because we put more resources into that precinct.”
The report states that the most common crime suspected of those stopped was "weapons possession," which was cited in 25.6% of all stops—that comports with the City's narrative that the stops are designed to take guns off the street. That assertion is not backed up by the data, which shows that more stops doesn't necessarily mean a considerably larger proportion of weapons are found. Notably, stop and frisks declined this year, along with the murder and shooting rates.
Also, it does not appear that "weapons possession" is the top justification for the stops, just the "suspected crime." Officers can stop anyone if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that they are committing a crime: that means anyone with a "suspicious bulge" or who is making "furtive movements." According to NYCLU data, "furtive movements" accounted for 51.3% of the stops made in 2011, the most of any reason given for stop and frisks. The NYPD does not train their officers to respond to stops involving furtive movements.
“Rather than spin the numbers, the department should confront this problem,” NYCLU associate legal director Chris Dunn told the News.
You can read the entire report below, and check out our strange trip to the NYPD's stop and frisk training facility here.