An independent federal monitor tasked with reviewing the NYPD’s compliance with stop and frisk protocols said the department “has made significant strides” in meeting the court’s requirements since oversight first began in 2013, but officers were under-reporting stops.

The latest findings, released on Friday, found that the vast majority of reported stops between 2020 and 2021 were justified, but the federal monitor could not find if the department was fully compliant with court-ordered reforms since officers were found to not have reported all of their stops. The number of overall stops conducted by the NYPD reached its peak in 2011, hitting nearly 685,000, before falling to 9,112 in 2021, a decline of 98.7%. But the report said that 29% of stops were not properly documented, which a statement from the NYPD said may have been impacted by Covid-19.

“This report describes many accomplishments primarily relying on data from 2019 – 2020,” the statement said. “In the time period since the report, compliance has steadily and consistently increased."

The monitor’s review of stop reports, as well as body cam footage, found that 86% of police stops in 2020 were compliant – meaning conducted with a clear, sufficient legal basis – up from 79% in 2019. Meanwhile, 92% frisks in 2020 were compliant, up from 87% in 2019.

The report was the first to be issued under Mayor Eric Adams’ administration.

"We have come a long way together and accomplished a great deal but there is still work to be done and we will continue the positive momentum toward full compliance,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell in a statement.

The quarterly report, issued by Mylan L. Denerstein, an attorney with Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, is periodically required to assess whether the NYPD is practicing constitutional policing. Court oversight arose from three cases, Floyd v. City of New York; Davis v. City of New York; and Ligon v. City of New York; after a federal district court found that the NYPD had violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Baher Azmy, the Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the overall drop in stops each year reveals that the city has departed from the practices followed during the administration under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The director pointed out that out of the 3,008 recorded NYPD stops during the fourth quarter of 2021, 88% were of Black and Latinx people.

“So that strikes as one of the most significant developments, and gives lie to the idea that this intentional system of targeting Black and brown people was ever really about bona fide law enforcement,” said Azmy. “But what persists is both an under-reporting of stop and frisks by police officers and a persistence in racial disparities.”

The stops that went unreported, Azmy said, “tend to reflect even greater disparities.”