Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NYPD’s stop-and-frisk: more rare, still racist, mostly useless

| »
Stop and Frisk

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has a new report on the statistics of New York City police’s practice of stopping and searching anyone they feel is acting suspiciously, and this little paragraph reaffirms everything that’s already known about the injustice and prejudice inherent to such a program:

The latest stop-and-frisk report shows that the NYPD stopped and interrogated New Yorkers 105,988 times between July 1 and Sept. 30. About 89 percent of those encounters did not result in arrests or tickets. About 86 percent of those stopped were black or Latino. Whites were around 10 percent of people stopped.

And yet, the number of (mostly innocent) people being accused of acting like possible criminals has actually been going down by 30% over the past year.

And of course, that’s not mentioning how the program is completely at odds with the Fourth Amendment, as I doubt any court could mangle the meaning of “probable cause” enough to apply it to cops who think someone’s sidewalk gait or white-knuckle cellphone grip indicates they’re out to deal drugs or launch an illegal knife-throwing enterprise. But then, that’s one part of the Constitution that everyone in power seems to have forgotten about these last few years.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)