The NYPD conducted 53 percent fewer street stops—58,088, to be exact— than it did in the same period last year—and yet the murder rate has plummeted from 290 to 213 Huh.

The mayor's office released new data yesterday showing that the city's murder rate declined by 77 murders from this time last year, representing a 26.6 percent decrease. This data will reportedly be used in the city's appeal against Judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling that stop-and-frisk is unconstitutional

"There is no 'right' number in any year—no minimum or maximum," NYPD chief spokesman John McCarthy told the Wall Street Journal. "The number of stops reflects the number of times our police officers observe someone they reasonably suspect has committed a crime, or is about to commit a crime."

But NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said the data indicates the opposite of claims made by Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly justifying the practice—claims predicated on the idea that to reduce the use of stop-and-frisk would invite violent crime.

“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," she said.

A four page letter delivered to Scheindlin by city attorneys requests that she abstain from ordering the changes she recommended—including appointing a federal monitor to oversee the police department—until the appeal is heard.