By Colleen Long
Black and Hispanic men are more likely to be stopped in the Bronx and Brooklyn than other boroughs, according to an analysis of police street stop data released Wednesday by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
The police made 532,911 stops in 2012, a 22 percent decrease from the year before, when an all-time high of 685,724 stops were made.
Most of the people stopped are black and Hispanic men, and a federal trial that concluded this week accused the police of unfairly targeting minorities. U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin will rule on whether changes are needed and will decide the changes. She already has said the policy seems troubling.
The NYCLU analyzed street stop data from 2011 and the findings are similar. The precincts that had the most stops were also among the most crime-ridden. The most stops happened in the 75th Precinct, in East New York; second was the 73rd Precinct, in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Precincts in the South Bronx also had a high volume of stops.
The fewest stops were performed in Central Park, Murray Hill and Kips Bay, all in Manhattan.
Of those stopped, 9.7 percent were white, about 55 percent were black and 32 percent were Latino. The population of New York is about 8 million with 33 percent white, 23 percent black and about 29 percent Latino.
Police recovered 796 guns, a number that has remained fairly constant the past decade, while stops have risen dramatically. Chris Dunn, the legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said that proves the tool isn't effective at getting guns off the street because the number of guns recovered should go up with the number of stops.
Donna Lieberman, head of the NYCLU, said she welcomed the decline in stops, but added, "The NYPD last year still subjected hundreds of thousands of innocent people to humiliating, intimidating and unjustified stop and frisk encounters."
The NYPD has said the tactic is a life-saving, crime-fighting tool and police on the street deter criminals from bringing weapons outside.
"Leave it to Donna, after the shooting deaths of D'Aja Robinson and Marc Carson, to diminish the importance of taking 796 guns off the street last year," said Paul Browne, chief NYPD spokesman, referring to a pair of killings Saturday.
Carson was shot as he walked with a companion through Greenwich Village, and police say it was a hate crime because he was gay. Fourteen-year-old D'Aja was felled by a bullet through the window of a city bus in Queens. Police don't believe she was the intended target.