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Racial Profiling: Stop-and-Frisks Down 34% in New York City

Racial Profiling: Stop-and-Frisks Down 34% in New York City

By Lauren Victoria Burke

Politics 365

Largest Racial Profiling Operation Slows by a Third. As marches, protests and meetings between New York public officials and the Department of Justice continue on the number of stop-and-frisks in New York City on innocent people, the number of stop and frisks in the city has declined 34% in the last three months.

The number of those stopped by New York City police are overwhelmingly Black and Hispanic.  Fifty-four percent of those stopped were Black and 32 percent Hispanic.  The overwhelming majority of people stopped are innocent. In the first three months of 2012,  the police stopped 203,500 people and 89 percent of those New Yorkers were innocent.

Only 9 percent of the stops were on whites.  Despite the statistics, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly continues to justify the stops.  The New York Civil Liberties Union created a Stop-and-Frisk Watch smartphone app so New Yorkers could record their frequent police interactions.

The New York City Police Department had a record number 203,500 stop-and-frisks in the first quarter of 2012.  However, in April, May and June of 2012 the police stopped 133,934 individuals.  The change is 34 percent lower as compared to the first three months of 2012 and 25 percent lower compared to last year. At that current pace the number of stops would be lower than in 2011.  What changed?

It may have been the level of political pressure.  On June 7, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) led an advocacy day against stop and frisk and racial profiling with Black and Latino policy makers from New York.  The day included a meeting at the Department of Justice on the issue.

On June 18, NAACP President Ben Jealous and Rev. Al Sharpton led thousands in a “silent march” against stop and frisk and racial profiling.