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May 19, 2008, New York, NY – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) served a subpoena on the RAND Corporation as part of CCR’s racial profiling lawsuit against the New York City Police Department (NYPD), Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. Last year, the NYPD provided RAND with the stop-and-frisk data (known as form UF-250 data) but has refused to make the same data publicly available. The NYPD Foundation paid the RAND Corporation to write a report which, unsurprisingly, found that the NYPD was not guilty of racial profiling in its stop-and-frisks. The report was then used in an NYPD public relations campaign on editorial pages with no opportunity for the public to judge the data independently.
Floyd is a companion case to CCR’s ground breaking racial profiling case, Daniels et al. v. City of New York, et al., which led to a settlement agreement in 2003 that required the New York City Police Department to provide CCR with data on all of the stop-and-frisks conducted from the last quarter of 2003 through the first quarter of 2007 and to adopt a policy prohibiting unlawful racial profiling. Following an analysis of the data, CCR filed a new class action lawsuit.
Under the terms of the Daniels settlement, CCR, which has been analyzing the police data for the last five years, is not allowed to publicly disclose either the data or the analysis based on the data. This is the same NYPD stop-and-frisk data that other organizations have been attempting to obtain through freedom of information requests and that the City continues to resist releasing to the general public.
The Center has filed motions in Floyd for the data to be released to the public – however, the City continues to refuse to agree to those requests without any restrictions. The subpoena would require the RAND Corporation to give CCR the data that the police department provided last year for the company’s report and, in addition, all of the UF-250 data from 1998 to the present.
“CCR had to resort to subpoenaing RAND because the City is refusing to let us talk in the open about the data it has turned over to us and is waging an asymmetric PR campaign,” said CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren. “We have to ask the NYPD, what do they have to hide? The evidence?”
In November of last year, the RAND Corporation released a report, commissioned by the New York Police Department (NYPD), that showed Blacks and Latinos in New York City are more likely to be stopped by NYPD police officers. However, the report did not make any findings of racial profiling and, instead, claimed:
• The stops coincide with potential suspects.
• The racial disparity in frisks may be due to the fact that Black suspects are more likely to flee or resist arrest, a notion that is presented in the report without any supportive statistical evidence.
• The greatest number of stops are based on the claim that the suspect may have a weapon—but the minute number of weapons actually discovered belies the claims and indicates that other factors such as racial bias are involved.
CCR attorney Darius Charney said, “The racial bias evident in the NYPD’s stop-and-frisks violates the rights of Black and Latino New Yorkers and continues to further damage trust in the police. The only way to make it stop is to make the data public and begin to hold the NYPD and the City accountable.”
For more information, see the Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al. case page.
The RAND Corporation is based in Santa Monica, CA.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.