The NYPD is on pace to break last year's record 601,055 stop-and-frisks (that's 1,900 people a day). According to the Times, the department released data yesterday (on a Saturday? Hmmm) that shows police made 203,500 stops from January through March of this year—last year it was 183,326 during the same time period. Your move, McDonald's.
The department is also quick to note that the current murder rate—129 people so far through Friday—is on track to be a new low for homicides. 61 more guns have also been seized during the stops than during the same time period as last year—260 to 2011's 199—and on Friday, Mayor Bloomberg called the stops "a deterrent" to those who would carry a gun.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne agrees, telling the paper, "The mayor’s right. Anecdotally, we’re hearing that gunmen are carrying less often because of the greater risk associated with stops.”
Empirically, that still means roughly 783 people were stopped so far in 2012 for each gun that was confiscated. Last year it was 879, and in 2003 it was 266 people. 87% of those stopped were black or Hispanic, and 93% were male, which matches last year's statistics. Earlier this week, the NYCLU reported that despite the disproportionate amount of blacks and Latinos that were stopped, whites were almost twice as likely to be found carrying a weapon.
“While the N.Y.P.D. should continue to have the ability to stop and frisk people where there is a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, I remain convinced that with better monitoring, supervision and accountability we can avoid the corrosive impact of a poorly targeted program,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said, “Make no mistake—this is the result of City Hall aggressively pushing precinct commanders to use stop and frisk beyond what is necessary and effective. It’s time to bring these numbers back to earth.”