CCR Charges NYPD With Racial Profiling in Federal Lawsuit


Riptide Communications, 212-260-5000 

New York, NY, January 31, 2008 – Today, in federal court in Manhattan, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) is filing a companion case to its ground breaking racial profiling case, Daniels et al. v. The City of New York, et al., which led to a settlement agreement in 2003 that required the New York City Police Department (NYPD) 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. An analysis of the data reveals that the NYPD is still engaging in unlawful stops and frisks which are unconstitutional.  This is the same 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 suit seeks to get injunctive and declaratory relief to stop the City from engaging in racial profiling and violating the rights of thousands of New Yorkers by using unconstitutional stops.

“We are bringing the NYPD back into court because racial profiling is still occurring,” said CCR staff attorney, Andrea Costello. “We believe, the overwhelming number of stops is based, not on the reasonable suspicion of criminal activity required by the Fourth Amendment, but rather on the race of the person being stopped. According to the Department’s own figures nearly 90 percent of those stopped by police are people of color and only 10 percent of those stops are leading to a summons or arrest. The NYPD is engaged in a practice of illegally targeting people of color.”  

Although the settlement in Daniels et al. v. The City of New York, et al. expired at the end of December 2007, CCR was permitted to retain the UF-250 data (UF-250 is the form that Police Officers are required to fill out after stopping individuals in street encounters) under an order entered in the case.  A request has been filed with the court to retain the data in the new case and to make it publicly available.

CCR staff attorney Kamau Franklin stated, “Pursuing this lawsuit is critical. Today, there is an epidemic of racially-based, unconstitutional stops taking place in our city that must be stopped.”

In the lawsuit the Center cites the following figures, in 2006, alone:

The NYPD stopped, questioned and/or frisked over 506,491 people, an over 500 percent increase from 97,296 in 2002.
  • Nearly 90 percent of those stopped and frisked were Black or Latino, even though these groups make up only 52 percent of the City’s population. 
  • Only 10 percent of the 2006 stops led to summonses or arrests indicating that these stops lack the reasonable suspicion required by the Fourth Amendment.   
  • Racial disparities also exist in the frisking of Black and White persons who are stopped.  In 2006, an overwhelming 46 percent of all Blacks that were stopped were subjected to an intrusive frisk, as compared to only 29 percent for Whites. 

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


Last modified 

February 1, 2008