Stop and Frisk Numbers Drop

The occurrence of the controversial NYPD practice of Stop and Frisk declined during the second quarter of 2012, according to department-provided statistics. The NYPD claims that in April, May and June of this year there were 133,934 Stop and Frisks in the city, a drop of 34% from the first quarter of the year; and a drop of about 25% from the second quarter of 2011.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly denied that public pressure and opposition to the practice by organizations like the NYCLU and the NAACP played a part in the declining numbers. Instead, Kelly claimed that sensitivity training, as well as having fewer rookie officers in high-crime areas during the second quarter, were the reasons behind the decline.
The New York Times, citing “police supervisors,” reported that one reason for the decline was that “police commanders have grown wary of pushing for such stops at daily roll calls.”

The NYCLU pointed out that the data (which was provided to the New York Post by the NYPD) did not include data about the number of innocent people stopped. Previous statistics have shown consistently that almost 90% of those stopped by the NYPD are innocent.

The New York Post originally broke the story, claiming that, “On the face of it, the statistics seem to provide the NYPD with evidence that – at least in this one period – more stop-and-frisks resulted in fewer crimes and more gun seizures.”

John Surico at the Village Voice countered the Post’s claims about the statistics, writing that “you cannot make a wholehearted declaration of something based on a correlation.”

685,724 Stop and Frisks were performed by the NYPD in 2011, the highest year to date. Almost 90% of those stopped are black or Hispanic, with 9 out of 10 people stopped being totally innocent.

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