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Combating Discriminatory Policing

Ensuring Dignity and Respect for All New Yorkers

In cities across the country, millions of dollars are being spent on over-policing policies that target immigrant communities and communities of color, leading to mass incarceration, deportation, unfair harassment and dehumanization.  In many places, this spending outpaces investment in health, education, housing and other programs. But as the communities of color and immigrant communities that will constitute the majority of the U.S. population within 30 years grow, calls for a new approach to policing and public investment are growing as well. 

In New York City, for...

In cities across the country, millions of dollars are being spent on over-policing policies that target immigrant communities and communities of color, leading to mass incarceration, deportation, unfair harassment and dehumanization.  In many places, this spending outpaces investment in health, education, housing and other programs. But as the communities of color and immigrant communities that will constitute the majority of the U.S. population within 30 years grow, calls for a new approach to policing and public investment are growing as well.  In New York City, for example, CPD worked as part of Communities United for Police Reform (CPR) in its groundbreaking organizing to end unfair and ineffective policing practices and to ensure independent oversight of the New York Police Department (NYPD).Over the last decade, New York City has seen a sharp and alarming increase in the use of stop and frisk. 

Since 2002, the Department has conducted over 4 million stops. Immigrants, people of color, residents of low-income neighborhoods, LGBTQ individuals and homeless New Yorkers have been disproportionately targeted.  For example, in 2012, of the over 500,000 New Yorkers who were stopped, 87% were either Black or Latino. 

In recent years, thanks to the organizing of CPR member groups, momentum has been building across the City to put an end to these practices. As a coalition of base-building, policy and legal groups representing communities in all five boroughs, CPR has championed the Community Safety Act, a package of municipal bills that would prohibit NYPD profiling and establish an Inspector General to ensure transparency and accountability within the Department.  In June, City Council Members from across the boroughs voted to pass the bills, standing up for constituents’ civil and human rights. Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the legislation, but, on August 22, 2013, the Council took a historic vote to override the mayor’s veto and enact two bills within the Community Safety Act into law, including a ban on racial profiling and instituting an Inspector General. In New York, CPD has provided legal and policy research and analysis to inform the development of policy proposals to combat discriminatory policing, supported advocacy efforts and furnished communications support for CPR’s work.  We are proud to have helped CPR to ensure passage of these extremely important measures and will continue to partner with the coalition to guarantee safety and respect for all New Yorkers. Now, we seek to build on our success in New York, by partnering with base-building organizations in cities across the country to challenge bias-based policing practices, and to replicate the Community Safety Act.

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facts & figures

The NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk is on the rise. In 2005, the NYPD made less than 400,000 stops in comparison to a projected 543,982 stops in 2008. Over a period of 3.5 years, the NYPD has initiated nearly 1,600,000 stops of New Yorkers.The NYPD continues to disproportionately stop-and-frisk Black and Latino individuals. From 2005 to 2008, approximately 80 percent of total stops made were of Blacks and Latinos, who comprise 25 percent and 28 percent of New York City’s total population, respectively. During this same time period, only approximately 10 percent of stops were of...

The NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk is on the rise. In 2005, the NYPD made less than 400,000 stops in comparison to a projected 543,982 stops in 2008. Over a period of 3.5 years, the NYPD has initiated nearly 1,600,000 stops of New Yorkers.The NYPD continues to disproportionately stop-and-frisk Black and Latino individuals. From 2005 to 2008, approximately 80 percent of total stops made were of Blacks and Latinos, who comprise 25 percent and 28 percent of New York City’s total population, respectively. During this same time period, only approximately 10 percent of stops were of Whites, who comprise 44 percent of the city’s population.Blacks and Latinos are more likely to be frisked after a NYPD-initiated stop than Whites. Between 2005 and June 2008, Whites comprised 8 percent and Blacks comprised 85 percent of all individuals frisked by the NYPD. In addition, 34 percent of Whites stopped during this time period were also frisked, while 50 percent of Blacks and Latinos stopped were also frisked.Blacks and Latinos are more likely to have physical force used against them during a NYPD-initiated stop than Whites. The data reveals that a significant number of stops result in the use of force by the NYPD. Of those stops, a disproportionate number of Blacks and Latinos have physical force used against them. Between 2005 and June 2008, 17 percent of Whites, compared to 24 percent of Latinos and Blacks, had physical force used against them during NYPD-initiated encounters.Stops-and-frisks result in a minimal weapons yield and/or contraband yield. The data demonstrates a paucity of stops resulting in weapons and/or contraband yield across racial lines. Of the cumulative number of stops made since 2005, only 2.6 percent resulted in the discovery of a weapon or contraband. Though rates of contraband yield were minute across all racial groups, stops made of Whites prove to be slightly more likely to yield contraband. This suggests stop-and-frisk is not an effective crime fighting tactic.The proportion of stops-and-frisks by race does not correspond with rates of arrest or summons. Arrest and summons rates for persons stopped during the period of 2005 through the first half of 2008 were low for all racial groups, with between 4 and 6 percent of all NYPD initiated stops resulting in arrests and 6 and 7 percent resulting in summons being issued during this period. This further suggests stop-and-frisk is not an effective crime fighting tactic. The UF-250 data provided by the NYPD plainly demonstrate that Black and Latino New Yorkers have a greater likelihood of being stopped-and-frisked by NYPD officers at a rate significantly disproportionate to that of White New Yorkers. That NYPD officers use physical force during stops of Blacks and Latinos at an exceedingly disproportionate rate compared to Whites who are stopped, and that this disparity exists despite corresponding rates of arrest and weapons or contraband yield across racial lines, further supports claims that the NYPD is engaged in racially-biased stop-and-frisk practices. The findings of this preliminary review of the data are presented in greater detail herein.

Data taken from Racial Disparity in NYPD Stops-and-Frisks - a report produced by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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