Because of the NYPD's abiding commitment to self-transcendence in the fields of racial profiling and constitutional violation, the department has beat its own lofty record for the number of reported stop and frisk interrogations in three months. According to a data revealed today [pdf] at the NYCLU's insistence, the NYPD stopped and searched more innocent people during the first three months of 2009 than during any three-month period since police began collecting data on the program.
Police stopped and interrogated New Yorkers 171,094 times between January and March, and more than 151,000 of those individuals were sent on their way without charges. Approximately 89,000 of those stopped were black, 56,000 were Latino, and 16,000 were white. It all adds up to a whopping 18 percent increase from the 145,098 stops conducted during the first three months of 2008, which was the prior record. The NYCLU predicts that if stops continue at this pace, the NYPD will conduct a record 626,767 stops in 2009. (In 2008, the current record, police stopped New Yorkers 531,159 times.)
"In just three months, the NYPD stopped enough totally innocent New Yorkers to fill the new Yankee Stadium three times over," said the NYCLU's Donna Lieberman in a statement. "These New Yorkers’ personal information is now stored in an NYPD database...The NYPD is, in effect, building a massive database of black and brown New Yorkers." The NYCLU is demanding that Commissioner Ray Kelly end the practice of recording the names and addresses of everyone stopped. Earlier this month, Kelly defended the stop and frisk program but added a new twist: Any officer stopping a person in the street for a pat-down must divulge "the reason, or reasons, why it occurred."