February 14, 2012, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) responded to new data released to the City Council by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) summarizing stop-and-frisk statistics for 2011.
Monday’s numbers reflect the highest yearly total stops to date – 684,330 – with no meaningful change in huge racial disparities. This total is 14 percent higher than the number of stops in 2010, and it represents a more than 600 percent increase since 2002, the year the NYPD began keeping stop-and-frisk figures. Eighty-seven percent of those stopped in 2011 were Black or Latino, and the abysmally low rates of correlation between stops and actual arrests persist: nine out of ten persons stopped were not arrested, nor did they receive summonses.In short, this data reinforces the merits of the Center for Constitutional Rights' litigation, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al., challenging the NYPD’s racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices and underscores the need for our lawsuit to be certified as a class action.The new data builds upon eight years of previous data showing that race is the main factor determining NYPD stops. This is true even after adjustments are made for other factors including crime rates, social conditions, and allocations of police resources in various neighborhoods. Most stops occur in Black and Latino neighborhoods and, in all neighborhoods, Blacks and Hispanics are significantly more likely to be stopped than Whites. Also disconcerting, stop-and-frisk data has repeatedly shown that NYPD officers use physical force at a significantly higher rate during stops of Blacks and Latinos.Despite insistence by the NYPD that stop-and-frisk has helped reduce crime, the practice has never been shown to yield a statistically-relevant reduction in crime. In fact, the weapons and contraband yield from stop-and-frisk is the same as that from random check points, despite the NYPDs attempts to justify the program as key to confiscating illegal weapons.Police stops-and-frisks without reasonable suspicion violate the Fourth Amendment, and racial profiling is a violation of fundamental rights and protections of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Further, this kind of heavy-handed policing promotes mistrust and fear of police officers in communities of color—rather than serving those communities, police end up occupying them.The personal impact of stop-and-frisk is hard to overestimate. For many children, being stopped by the police on their way home from school has become a normal afterschool activity. As described by one person who has been stopped-and-frisked four times, for young people in many neighborhoods, getting stopped and frisked has become a rite of passage, something young Black and Brown youth constantly expect will happen to them. The data demonstrates that the egregious, racially-discriminatory practice of stop-and-frisk is a daily reality for many New Yorkers.The Center for Constitutional Rights will receive by court order more comprehensive data than the summary numbers released Monday and will provide those results as soon as they are available.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, with co-counsel Covington & Burlington, LLP, and Beldock, Levine & Hoffman, LLP, represents victims of the NYPD’s racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk practices in a federal lawsuit, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al., which stems from the Center for Constitutional Rights’ landmark racial profiling case, Daniels, et al. v. City of New York, et al., which led to an agreement requiring the NYPD to provide stop-and-frisk data to CCR on a quarterly basis.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.
February 14, 2012