NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisks suffers marked drop

By Paul Harris, The Guardian
Saturday, August 4, 2012 12:20 EDT
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NYPD Officers. Image via Agence-France-Presse
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New York’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy of fighting crime, which many critics say involves racial profiling of black and Hispanic citizens, has been reduced markedly in recent months, it has been claimed.

The New York police department’s tactic has become a major source of debate in the city as proponents say it has played a huge role in reducing crime statistics, while others say it alienates minority groups.

But on Saturday the New York Times reported that there had been a drop of 34% in the number of times that police had used stop-and-frisks.

It said that from April to June New York police had conducted 133,934 stops, compared to 203,500 in the preceding three months of January to February. The drop coincided with a period of media debate over the role of stop-and-frisks in fighting New York crime, which civil rights groups have repeatedly protested.

In June, thousands of New Yorkers took to the city’s streets in a silent march to mayor Michael Bloomberg’s home to protest against stop-and-frisks.

Speaking at the demonstration, Benjamin Jealous, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) said the notion that stop-and-frisk makes the city safer was “a big lie”.

He added: “What it does is it drives a wall between the most victimised communities in this city and the very people who have sworn to protect them.”

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