Stop and Frisk: The Human Impact

The Stories Behind the Numbers, the Effects on our Communities



On July 26, 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released, “Stop and Frisk – The Human Impact: The Stories Behind the Numbers, the Effects on our Communities,” a report documenting the human impact of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) stop-and-frisk practices. 


Read the report here.

Listen to report interviewees tell their stories here.


The New York City Police Department’s (NYPD’s) aggressive stop-and-frisk practices are having a profound effect on individuals, groups, and communities across the city. This report, released in 2012, documented some of the human stories behind the staggering statistics and shed new light on the breadth of impact this policy has had on individuals and groups, in neighborhoods, and citywide.

The Center for Constitutional Rights conducted a series of interviews with people who have been stopped and frisked by NYPD and heard testimonies from a wide range of people living under the weight of the unprecedented explosion of this practice. These interviews provide evidence of how deeply this practice impacts individuals. The report also documented widespread civil and human rights abuses, including illegal profiling, improper arrests, inappropriate touching, sexual harassment, humiliation, and violence at the hands of police officers. The effects of these abuses can be devastating and often leave behind lasting emotional, psychological, social, and economic harm.

The NYPD stop-and-frisk program affects thousands of people every day in New York City, and it is widely documented that an overwhelming majority of those people are Black or Latino. This report shows that many are also members of a range of other communities that are experiencing a devastating impact from this program, including LGBTQ/GNC people, non-citizens, homeless people, religious minorities, low-income people, residents of certain neighborhoods, and youth. Residents of some New York City neighborhoods described a police presence so pervasive and hostile that they felt as if they were living in a state of siege.

What these stories describe are widespread and systematic human and civil rights violations against thousands of New Yorkers on a daily basis. 

This report accompanies CCR's advocacy and organizing efforts to address discrimination, misconduct, and abuse by the police through the Communities United for Police Reform campaign, and our legal challenge, Floyd, et al. v. City of New York, et al., a federal class action lawsuit against the NYPD and the City of New York that successfully challenged the NYPD’s practices of racial profiling and unconstitutional stops and frisks.


Last modified 

November 2, 2017