NYPD Street Stops Soar 600% Under Bloomberg

A new study by the ACLU has found New York City cops initiated street stops (aka Terry stops, stops and frisks or interrogations) 684,330 times in 2011, an increase of 600% since Bllomberg took office in 2002.

Of the stops, 90% were "completely innocent" (no arrest or summons issued) and 87% were Black or Latino.

Last year alone, the NYPD stopped enough totally innocent New Yorkers to fill Madison Square Garden more than 30 times over,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “It is not a crime to walk down the street in New York City, yet every day innocent black and brown New Yorkers are turned into suspects for doing just that. It is a stunning abuse of power that undermines trust between police and the community.”


Looking at all the years in Bloomberg's Administration:

Under the Bloomberg administration, the NYPD has conducted more than 4.3 million street stops. About 88 percent of those stops – nearly 3.8 million – resulted in no arrest or summons.

The ACLU says the illegal stop and frisk rate has become epidemic and warrants the implementation of meaningful independent oversight of the NYPD . A class action lawsuit challenging the stop and frisks, Floyd v. City of New York, is pending.

You can see the numbers here.

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    Bloomberg on his own pot use: (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by SeeEmDee on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:50:38 AM EST
    "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it!"

    So...what's wrong with people enjoying what he so boastfully admitted to doing? Evidently, everything.

    As I'm sure Mr. Obama, who just as boastfully admitted his 'crime' in his book, feels the same way.

    Two sets of rules: one for The Elite and one for the hoi polloi. To quote an old Talking Heads song: "Same as it ever was; same as it ever was..."

    Hypocrisy recognizes no limits.

    that they do not, when they gains some maturity, support others doing. Stop the presses!

    Wouldn't he have then said... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 12:52:00 PM EST
    something like "yes I did, and I regret it immensely, and I want to punish others who made the same mistake I did."

    Maturity...you slay me Sarc.  If this policy is a sign of maturity may I never know it;)


    is specifically about smoking pot, right?

    Yeah... (none / 0) (#25)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 01:29:00 PM EST
    Bloomberg's answer leads me to believe it wasn't something he outgrew as he matured and is now against, it leads me to believe it's something he sees nothing wrong with.  Otherwise he would have hit us with the canned apology, right?

    Then he sends his army out on the streets to snoop in people's pockets for it.  That's not a sign of maturity, thats a sign of a flaming hypocritical tyrannical arsehole.  


    dunno, no idea what he personally thinks (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:15:19 PM EST
    on the subject now.

    comment initially that you did, but now that you explain it, maybe you're right about it.

    His actions speak loudly... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:27:46 PM EST
    NYC leads the country in misdemeanor marijuana arrests...less "liberal" cities than ours stopped arresting people for possession of small amounts years ago.

    Bloomberg may be corrupt and out of touch but he ain't stupid...he can't think it is smart or moral policy.  Maybe he just doesn't care and lets Ray Kelly run the NYPD carte blanche.  Him I buy as a drug warrior, but not Bloomberg.


    Didn't Kelly tell his cops to stop (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:39:35 PM EST
    making misdemeanor arrests?

    That's what they told the media/people... (none / 0) (#33)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:51:06 PM EST
    What they really told the cops on the street?  Who knows...they keep racking up the collars, 2011 another record year for mj arrests as well as Stop & Frisk.  

    Either they're telling the people one thing and the cops another, or the cops are ignoring the directive.  They still have their stop and arrest quotas to meet.


    Regardles of his motivations, Bloomberg is typical (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 08:54:13 AM EST
    of what candidates say in order to be elected, and what they do after election. But there's more to this than that.

    The 'stop and frisk' operations are part and parcel of the 'Broken Windows' theory that Bloomberg's predecessor adopted. The theory states that police need to crack down hard on each and every instance of illegality, no matter how petty, to ensure that a 'message' is sent to criminally-prone individuals and those who might be contemplating such behavior that it will be immediately responded to with force.

    Needless to say, the issue of drug prohibition immediately comes to mind, as the drug laws have been used to circumvent the usual cultural norm of behavior between police and their paymasters, and replace it with an increasingly fascistic model based upon the presumption on the part of police that anyone who appears to be from the bottom end of the socio-economic pyramid  a priori has to be a criminal in order to survive.

    And so, the traditional targets of drug prohibition, minorities, being largely ignorant of their rights to refuse an unwarranted search, are being targeted even further for the 'Broken Windows' approach. Knowing that most minorities usually don't know their rights about unwarranted searches, police are using intimidation tactics to cause an already policy-targeted minority member to essentially incriminate themselves by publicly revealing what had previously required an arrest and search to discover.

    This is part and parcel with what amounts to an almost century-long continuation of the (supposedly defunct) 'Jim Crow' laws.

    There is a 'side benefit' to this which is rarely discussed in this country, and that reason alone is explosive in its' import.

    Needless to say, with voters rolls showing that minorities overwhelmingly prefer the Democratic Party as opposed to Republicans, and that a felony conviction essentially removes a minority member from the voter rolls, it doesn't take much imagination to wonder which political party favors such tactics.


    Revolting (none / 0) (#1)
    by cal1942 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 01:32:13 AM EST
    But familiar.  Rampant racial profiling.

    Liberty and Justice for all - what a sham.

    Remind me, why was Bloomberg called a liberal?

    And, (none / 0) (#4)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:15:55 AM EST
    remind me... why is Obama still referred to as a liberal?

    Because the (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by cal1942 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 04:47:32 PM EST
    narrative over the last few decades has degenerated so far to the right.

    Republicans, with their Tea Party cohort, are now so radically right-wing that a few months ago I remember hearing (on network TV) John Boehner referred to as a moderate.

    Boehner, a MODERATE!

    Makes an old Roosevelt Democrat like me seem like a pinko, commie, bolshevik.


    Systematic Policing (none / 0) (#2)
    by koshembos on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:14:10 AM EST
    In the Washington suburbs the rule is simple: one police car and one suspect car: it's a white person. Two police cars and one suspect car: it's a black or Latino person. Two non-white suspects: there are at least 3 police cars.

    Whom are we kidding?

    This is today's (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 03:14:26 AM EST

    From the Federal Government under Obama to local mayors like Bloomberg.

    No less paranoid than under Bush.
    No more respectful of civil rights and civil liberties.
    No less racist.

    Curiously, what is left out in report is some detail about the 500,000 people who were found to be not innocent.

    What were they guilty of?

    Smoking a joint?

    Not saying "Under God" when asked to recite the pledge of allegiance?

    Were any of the guilty-of-something folks guilty of anything that is worth the sacrifice of our civil rights?

    In sum, wtf has happened to our country?

    Second Post (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 09:10:42 AM EST
    In which you bring Obama into the conversation.

    Pretty sure this is about NYPD & Bloomberg, which I am pretty sure would be the same if McCain was in the White House.

    I am not fan of Obama, but what is the connection in this story ?  If he in cahoots with Bloomberg, the NYPD ?


    Briefly, (none / 0) (#14)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:05:38 AM EST
    I believe Obama as President sets the tone. His Justice department under Holder sets the tone.

    It seems to me that almost every day we read of another story in which our privacy rights and civil liberties continue to be abridged, marginalized or destroyed.

    Two examples:

    President Obama's 2013 proposed budget for the Department of Punishment Justice.

    FBI's Internet Cafe Terrorist Profile

    So, to me, that is a connection.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:15:58 AM EST
    But nothing to do with NYPD stopping non-whites in NYC.

    How (none / 0) (#20)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:33:10 AM EST
    can you agree with me that Obama is setting the tone in this country for the erosion of civil liberties - and simultaneously conclude that it has no bearing on the behavior of the NYPD?

    Obama has the reputation of being a liberal, and yet he is draconian with respect to civil liberties and many other causes dear to the hearts of liberals. Bloomie is also considered by many to be a liberal. (God knows why.) And he is equally a nightmare.

    In any case, there may not be a literally direct connection in as much as Obama and/or Holder might not have directed Bloomie to stop and frisk without probable cause a few million people.

    But, Bloomie would have no reason to feel that his behavior was outside of the mainstream of American political thinking either.

    Another example comes to mind: During the civil rights struggle in the 1960s, I believe that local governments began to change their ways when it became apparent that their behavior was no longer to be considered acceptable by the President.

    Just my thoughts on the matter.


    this is not about Obama (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:36:53 PM EST
    please stay on topic. It's about the NYPD

    OK (none / 0) (#32)
    by lentinel on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:41:27 PM EST
    The police are getting worse for everyone... (none / 0) (#5)
    by redwolf on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 06:50:27 AM EST
    Take a gander at http://www.injusticeeverywhere.com/ while most of the people being attacked are minorties, non poor and middle class whites are being prey upon by the police as well.

    maybe ineffective, but not racist (none / 0) (#6)
    by diogenes on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:10:20 AM EST
    From Tim Wise: http://www.timwise.org/2011/09/crime-race-and-the-perils-of-profiling/

    "According to data from the NYPD for 2010, victims of violent crime who report their victimization to police, overwhelmingly indicate that their attackers were black or Latino. So, for instance, according to victim and witness reports, 91.5 percent of murder suspects in the city are black or Latino, as are 86 percent of rape suspects, 94 percent of robbery suspects, 87.5 percent of aggravated/felonious assault suspects, 85 percent of misdemeanor assault perps, and nearly all shooting suspects. Meanwhile, only about 5 percent or so of violent crime perps, according to that same data, are white (as opposed to about 35 percent of the population of the city).* "

    So it is hardly racist if 87% of these random frisks are black or Latino.  Maybe random frisks are less efficient than other forms of crime prevention, but I will leave that to the criminologists to debate.

    Crime prevention... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:55:46 AM EST
    is not the be all end all....there are limits, and rightly so, to preserve our liberty.

    Such as...

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Ya need not be a criminalogist or a lawyer to plainly see Bloomberg and the NYPD are committing criminal acts on a massive scale on the regular.  Sh*t all you need is to be able to read at a second grade level.

    How this illegal policy has held up, and grown, for so long is really beyond me.  It's so obviously unconstitutional.


    "The end justifies the means" (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by NYShooter on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 03:24:07 AM EST
    You remember Guiliani and his "one broken pane" theory of crime prevention? That was when Rudy unleashed the cops to pursue the so-called "quality of life," infractions... Squee-gee guys, graffiti artists, jaywalkers, etc.

    Crime went down and Guiliani almost broke his arm patting himself on the back while claiming that going after the little crimes greatly prevented the big crimes. Of course, a Democrat was President, the economy was booming, and crime was down in All the big cities (most a lot more than NY)

    So now, thousands of minorities are having their rights violated, but murders are down 50%. I don't know why Kelley and Bloomberg don't order the cops to just break into people's homes whenever they feel like it?

    I'm sure crime would be eliminated completely.


    Actually, it's 'racial profiling.' (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:44:38 AM EST
    And that's part of structural racism.

    racial profiling? (none / 0) (#36)
    by diogenes on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:21:54 PM EST
    Wouldn't racial profiling be, "Blacks are statistically more likely to commit crimes in New York City so let's stop and frisk ONLY blacks since they're more likely to be criminals?"

    No, it wouldn't (none / 0) (#39)
    by Yman on Fri Feb 17, 2012 at 10:16:45 AM EST

    Although I understand why someone would like to pretend otherwise.


    That is the Definition of... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 09:22:51 AM EST
    ...racial profiling.

    Which of course if suspecting people because of race without a shred of proof.  You don't get to pull over every white guy in town because a white guy committed a crime.  Duh...

    Your stats need a link, because they seem very suspect.

    And in case you didn't read the story, they weren't looking for murders, rapists, shooting suspects, robbers, in these 'random' harassments which of course turned out to be wrong far more then they were right.

    And since you are statistic happy, find out how many violent criminals these 'random' stops netted, certainly not many.  Which of course means they could have actually been using those man hours to track down real criminals instead of random non-whites in hopes of ___.


    Maybe you should've continued ... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Yman on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:15:08 AM EST
    ... reading.  From your own link:

    But no. Despite the seeming logic of such a claim, given the raw data, there are a number of problems with the quick jump to this conclusion so readily and happily made by Charen, MacDonald, and other defenders of the NYPD. These flaws have been meticulously demonstrated by scholarly research on the subject, going back over a decade ...

    Interestingly, the racial disparities are even harder to explain when you consider what Fagan and a colleague discovered even as far back as the 1990s; namely, that as bad as the hit rates were overall for stops-and-frisks, they were actually far lower for persons of color. When searched, blacks and Latinos historically have been about a third less likely than their white counterparts to actually be found with illegal contraband or other evidence of criminal activity. Although the disparities in hit rates have been reduced since the 1990s, blacks stopped and searched are still nearly 10 percent less likely than their white counterparts to receive some kind of sanction (either arrest or a court summons) after being stopped by the NYPD. Far from suggesting that the cops are bending over backwards to be kind to African Americans, this fact suggests that still today, the police are quicker to suspect blacks for less legitimate reasons than they are whites, and thus, after searching them, less likely to actually find evidence of actual wrongdoing...

    Furthermore, and as Fagan amply demonstrates, in what may well be the most rigorous statistical analysis ever performed on the subject of racial profiling, the correlation between police stops in a given precinct and reports of crimes in those precincts is generally pathetic. For violent crime, there is no significant correlation between reports of crime and the number or racial distribution of stops made, and the racial composition of a precinct alone actually predicts stops three times better than reported crimes. In other words, the fact that people of color commit the lion's share of violent crime in New York cannot possibly justify the level of racial disproportionality in stops-and-frisks.

    In a nutshell it seems that usually the (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:56:19 AM EST
    evidence someone has committed a crime is not found by stopping and frisking him. Time to use other investigative techniques and stop the harassment of citizens.

    4th Amendment? (none / 0) (#9)
    by COgator95 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:49:20 AM EST
    I'm wondering if anyone of the victims of the "stop and frisk" ever exercised their 4th Amendment rights refusing the illegal search and just kept walking.

    This might shed some light... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 09:00:40 AM EST
    knowing your rights and trying to claim them can lead to further harassment and/or wrongful arrest.

    Village Voice


    Maybe you need to get... (none / 0) (#16)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 10:54:39 AM EST
    one of these nifty little cards.

    The Ol' PBA card... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:12:01 AM EST
    Bout time somebody started selling those little get out of a ticket free cards, why didn't I think of that? ;)

    If you're young and dark skinned I'd suggest wearing it on your forehead in this city.


    If you're wondering (none / 0) (#21)
    by sj on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 11:56:22 AM EST
    that, then you haven't read much about "stop and frisk".  

    4th Amendment has been repealed. (none / 0) (#35)
    by redwolf on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:45:03 PM EST
    They generally yell gun and shoot or tarser you when you try to walk on.

    Could the high amount street stops stats (none / 0) (#26)
    by DFLer on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 01:50:52 PM EST
    be related to qualifying for more and more funding from Homeland Security or something?

    I recall reading recently that some of the police overly muscled actions versus OWS-ers, was in part motivated by a desire to use all that cool quasi-military gear supplied by Homeland Security.