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Thu May 2, 2013, 07:41 PM

Charts: Are the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisks Violating the Constitution?



óBy Adam Serwer and Jaeah Lee | Mon Apr. 29, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

This week, New York City is defending itself against a lawsuit that claims its controversial "stop and frisk" policy is used to illegally detain and search people on the basis of race. The subject of an ongoing trial, the suit also argues that the weak justifications given by NYPD officers for most stop-and-frisks fail to meet the constitutional burden for search and seizure. We put together this explainer and some charts to help you make sense of what's going on.

What is "stop and frisk," exactly, and what does it have to do with the NYPD? Starting in the 1970s, in the hope of curbing street crime, New York City began encouraging its officers to stop people they deem suspicious, to question them, and, if there is adequate reason to suspect illegal activities, to pat them down for things like drugs and weapons. This type of police activity has been upheld in the past: In a landmark 1968 case, Terry v. Ohio, a police officer detained three men without a warrant, suspicious that they were casing a local convenience store for a hold-up. One of the men had a revolver, and the Supreme Court ruled that the warrantless search was constitutional because the cop had reasonable suspicion to believe the men were about to commit a crime.

If it's constitutional, then what's the problem? Well, it's not always constitutional. It's only constitutional when the police have reasonable suspicion to believe someone poses a danger, has committed a crime, or is preparing to commit one. And police cannot use race as a criterion for any search and seizure. But New York City has faced allegations of unconstitutional policing against communities of color for a long time.

In 1999, the state Attorney General's Office found that while blacks and Latinos made up about 50 percent of the city's population, they accounted for 84 percent of the police stops (PDF). The same year, in the aftermath of the slaying of Amadou Diallo, the unarmed Guinean immigrant who was shot 41 times by New York City police, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sued the city, alleging that stop-and-frisk was unconstitutional. In a settlement, the NYPD promised it would keep close tabs on who it stops and why.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/new-york-nypd-stop-frisk-lawsuit-trial-charts

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Charts: Are the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisks Violating the Constitution? (Original post)
MrScorpio May 2013 OP
Th1onein May 2013 #1
X_Digger May 2013 #2
beevul May 2013 #3
X_Digger May 2013 #4
beevul May 2013 #5
Logical May 2013 #10
Honeycombe8 May 2013 #6
MrScorpio May 2013 #7
Logical May 2013 #11
MrScorpio May 2013 #13
Logical May 2013 #16
X_Digger May 2013 #27
Logical May 2013 #29
Honeycombe8 May 2013 #17
MrScorpio May 2013 #24
Logical May 2013 #8
Honeycombe8 May 2013 #18
markpkessinger May 2013 #20
Honeycombe8 May 2013 #30
markpkessinger May 2013 #31
Honeycombe8 May 2013 #32
MattBaggins May 2013 #14
Honeycombe8 May 2013 #19
markpkessinger May 2013 #21
premium May 2013 #9
MrScorpio May 2013 #12
premium May 2013 #15
markpkessinger May 2013 #22
CheapShotArtist May 2013 #23
hack89 May 2013 #25
hack89 May 2013 #26
Savannahmann May 2013 #28

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 08:32 PM

1. As I said on a previous thread: Law enforcement is out of control

They need to be reined in.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 08:48 PM

2. Fuck yes, they're violating the constitution.

NYCLU has the stats:

http://www.nyclu.org/content/stop-and-frisk-data

In 2009, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 581,168 times.
510,742 were totally innocent (88 percent).
310,611 were black (55 percent).
180,055 were Latino (32 percent).
53,601 were white (10 percent).
289,602 were aged 14-24 (50 percent).

In 2010, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 601,285 times.
518,849 were totally innocent (86 percent).
315,083 were black (54 percent).
189,326 were Latino (33 percent).
54,810 were white (9 percent).
295,902 were aged 14-24 (49 percent).

In 2011, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 685,724 times.
605,328 were totally innocent (88 percent).
350,743 were black (53 percent).
223,740 were Latino (34 percent).
61,805 were white (9 percent).
341,581 were aged 14-24 (51 percent).

In 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 533,042 times
473,300 were totally innocent (89 percent).
286,684 were black (55 percent).
166,212 were Latino (32 percent).
50,615 were white (10 percent).


Read the Village Voice's series on the Schoolcraft tapes.

Captains and Sergeants scold officers for not 'getting their numbers up' -- setting quotas of "250s" (stop-and-frisks) that each officer should perform each shift.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2012-03-07/news/the-nypd-tapes-confirmed/

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #2)

Thu May 2, 2013, 08:52 PM

3. The ongoing schoolcraft saga...

The ongoing schoolcraft saga is a real eye opener.

Particularly the part where they stashed him away in a mental health ward in an effort to silence him, though the quotas are quite interesting as well.

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Response to beevul (Reply #3)

Thu May 2, 2013, 08:56 PM

4. The other sad piece of that is mis-filing crimes downward to make compstat numbers look good.

Got robbed at gunpoint? Did anyone else see the gun? Any proof of how much money you had? Well, we'll file it as simple assault.

I shit you not, a conversation very much like that was *recorded* by Schoolcraft.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #4)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:04 PM

5. Yeah, that is pretty sad.

(I listened to the available tapes, and the npr - "this American life" I think it was - interview with schoolcraft, and read quite a bit about it all, but its been a while since then)

It makes me chuckle, keeping in mind the extent that they went to try to silence schoolcraft, including sending people from the nypd out of their jurisdiction to harass him after it all, when people talk about how "safe" new York is. The word I hear, is that the "misfiling" is systemic, and not limited to the precinct schoolcraft served in. Considering that the tapes show quite clearly that instruction to "misfile" cases came from the top, it would be illiogical to think that "the top" only instructed for it to happen in one precinct.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #2)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:19 PM

10. These stats PROVE that the NYC Police are totally shitty at their probable cause judgement. I am....

shocked the ACLU cannot sue based on their probable cause decisions alone.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 09:40 PM

6. Just stating the race doesn't mean much, though.

If they are focusing on a heavy crime area that may happen to be Asian or hispanic or black, then most of hte people they stop will be those minorities.

The P.D. can't win for losing. First, minorities want police to clamp down on crime in their areas. Then when they do, they cry racism because they're stopping and frisking minorities, who are the ones who live in the particular high crime areas and presumably are the ones who are committing the crimes in those areas.

What we would need to know is if they are concentrating on heavy crime areas where whites live, but the majority of those they stop and frisk in those areas are minorities. That would seem to indicate racism.

But most people don't dig deeper into these things and just believe the headline.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #6)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:12 PM

7. So, simply living in a "high crime" area is enough reason for one to be stopped and frisked?

Can you remind me WHY we have a Bill of Rights again?

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #7)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:21 PM

11. The NYC does not care about the Bill of Rights any longer. n-t

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Response to Logical (Reply #11)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:23 PM

13. That much is apparently true

Depending on where you live and who you are, it's an Orwellian nightmare

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #13)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:28 PM

16. I wish someone could product a hidden camera documentary on this farce. n-t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #27)

Fri May 3, 2013, 05:57 PM

29. Horrible. Too many people trust the police 100%. Jury's included. n-t

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #7)

Thu May 2, 2013, 11:35 PM

17. I'm addressing the "racist" part of the claim.

That it's racist. Not the constitutionality of stopping and frisking anyone.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #17)

Fri May 3, 2013, 07:15 AM

24. I'm just trying to clarify what you're saying here.

You say that it that "Stop and Frisk" isn't necessarily racist...

Is this your claim based on an assumption that the NYPD doesn't engage in racist behavior?

I'm just wondering if you have actually considered if it's quite possible that the NYPD is implementing this program in an intentionally racist process, or not.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #6)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:17 PM

8. "minorities want police to clamp down on crime in their areas"

Searching people with no probable cause is not cracking down on crime. They are harassing people for no reason. Their reason is that they look suspicious. 90% of these stops do not end in arrest or a summons. So no doubt the NYC idiot cops are really bad at their "probable cause" decisions.

Sure, if you had police stop and search everyone at any time it would reduce some crime. I for one do not want that to happen.

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Response to Logical (Reply #8)

Thu May 2, 2013, 11:37 PM

18. I'm speaking about the "racist" part of the claim. Not the constitutionality of stopping

and frisking people. Part of the lawsuit is that it's racist. I'm pointing out that the stats quoted in the OP don't show racism, without more information.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #18)

Fri May 3, 2013, 02:38 AM

20. Targeting certain racial minorities more than others . . .

. . . absent reasonable suspicion, IS racist!

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #20)

Fri May 3, 2013, 09:04 PM

30. Not if you're in a minority neighborhood. Who are you gonna stop...

Who are you gonna stop in a black neighborhood but black people? Who are you gonna stop in a Puerto Rican neighborhood except Puerto Ricans?

Not enough information in the OP to show racism.

Example: If they are stopping and frisking in a white neighborhood, and 80% of who they stop and frisk there are black, and most of hte crimes in that neighborhood are committed by folks who live in the neighborhood...THAT would tend to show racism. But just percentages of who they stop, by race, doesn't say much. You have to know more.

And the chart also doesn't differentiate between stopping & frisking generally, and doing that for reasonable cause.

It could be racism. The stats alone don't prove that, though.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #30)

Sat May 4, 2013, 12:36 AM

31. They shouldn't be stopping ANYBODY absent reasonable suspicion . . .

Last edited Sat May 4, 2013, 01:07 AM - Edit history (1)

. . . that the person they are stopping either has committed, or is about to commit, a crime. And I'm sorry, merely being African American in a high crime neighborhood does NOT constitute reasonable suspicion!

Look, for suspicion to be in any sense reasonable, it must be individualized. The mere fact that a person fits a particular demographic does not in any way indicate any particular predilection for crime, let alone imminent crime, on the part of that individual. So if they are not stopping a person based on reasonable suspicion, then they are stopping them based on the person's fit with a demographic profile. That is inherently racist.

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #31)

Sat May 4, 2013, 08:41 AM

32. I was not commenting on the stop and frisk law. I don't know enuf

about it to say anything on the subject, since we don't have that here.

But NO...just having a percentage of races they stop means NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING, unless you know the racial makeup of WHERE they are stopping people.

It's easy to understand, if you want to. A lot of people just want to believe eyecatching headlines, though, and read a stat of 60% black people, and they automatically believe something is racist because they WANT to.

If you read more scientific studies, you'll understand. A real study would never give flat percentages of a procedure and draw ANY conclusion from it, because there is no conclusion to draw from such a statistic. There's not enough information about who and where they stopped to draw any conclusion about it. None whatsoever.

My point being: They are probably doing the procedure in HIGH CRIME areas, which are typically minority areas. So I would expect them to stop minorities in a MUCH HIGHER percentage than whites. That's common sense. Geez.

It's so easy to lead people by the nose with incomplete stats, when they are so ready to believe something without thinking about it.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #6)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:23 PM

14. Absolute fucking wow

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Response to MattBaggins (Reply #14)

Thu May 2, 2013, 11:41 PM

19. Facts are pesky things, aren't they? They just make you go "wow."

Hard to argue with them.

But if you find some stats on the racism of hte stop and frisk policies, feel free to post them. Just posting that 100 blacks were stopped and frisked yesterday, while only 30 whites were, doesn't show racism. Unless someone doesn't understand stats.

You have to know the racial population of the areas they were stopping people in. Duh! If they're stopping people in a neighborhood that is 90% black, most of the people they stop are going to be black. Duh, again!

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #19)

Fri May 3, 2013, 02:45 AM

21. Here's a link to the NYCLU's report on stop and frisk ...

... the stats in the report more than tell the tale.

NYCLU: STOP-AND-FRISK 2011

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:18 PM

9. I know of at least one DU member

 

who approves of Meek Mayor Mike's policy of stop and frisk.

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Response to premium (Reply #9)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:21 PM

12. Well, they're probably one of those people who have me on ignore

It's a "free" country.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #12)

Thu May 2, 2013, 10:24 PM

15. I'm thinking you know whom I speak of.

 

I've tangled with him numerous times.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2013, 02:46 AM

22. Check out the New York Civil Liberties Union's 2011 report on stop-and-frisk

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2013, 04:30 AM

23. This is off-topic, but

one glaring flaw I see with this pie chart from Mother Jones is that they included "Hispanic", even though Hispanic is NOT a racial group like how Blacks and Whites are. It really drives me nuts how so many Americans (including my own family) believe that Hispanic is both a race and a look, when they can come in many different shades. There are White, Black, Asian, American Indian, Pacific Islander, and mixed people who are of Hispanic descent. Look at the singer Shakira and Victor Cruz of the NY Giants, for example; they look nothing alike.
Being Hispanic has to do with one's culture, not anything biological. This is why it is listed separately from the racial question in the U.S. Census.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2013, 07:41 AM

25. Yes. They need to stop. nt

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2013, 07:43 AM

26. And yet there are supporters of Bloomberg here on DU. nt


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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2013, 09:42 AM

28. More than once Civil Liberties has been a topic on these boards

More than once, we who consider it a duty to defend those rights have been told to shut up and sit down and be quiet. We have been told that we didn't live there and we didn't understand when we objected to the heavy handed lockdown of the Watertown neighborhood by the Police. We have been told that we didn't understand the feelings of the people when we objected to the presence of machine gun toting police on the streets hunting Richard Dorner. We object to these kinds of stop and frisk abuses, and we're told we should shut up, or they demand to know what we have to hide.

The 4th Amendment says all of us have the right to be secure from unwarranted search and seizures. We know the police are abusing the exceptions granted them by the court, and we do nothing about it. We know that NCIC is abused daily, and we do nothing. We know that police abuse their authority by bullying people into compliance, and we do nothing. We object, and are shouted down by the staunch defenders to are quick to remind us that the Police are trying to protect us.

We object to these things, but we are in the minority, and apparently Civil Rights are decided on a case by case basis, but only by those who are close enough, and claim to be the only ones who understand what is going on. The police are out of control. They have no one restraining them. It is if society turned a vicious dog loose on the community, trusting that the dog will only attack bad people. We operate under the assumption that if the dog bit you, you must have done something to deserve it. We have thrown out the principle that we are innocent until proven guilty, we now shout what do you have to hide?

We deride J. Edgar Hoover for among other things, keeping files on prominent people to blackmail them into behaving as the Director wanted. Threats of personal information getting out and ruining the reputation of powerful politicians was a great tool, to keep him in power. Now, it was wrong for him to do that, but at the same time we denounce him for it, we sit blithely by and let the Government create databases left and right, with the same kind of information, and able to be abused in just the same way, for our protection.

What do we have to hide? Each of us has something that they would rather not have out in public. Mistake made in our youth, bad choices as a young adult. Support for a cause that changed dramatically from what we believed it would be. Stop and Frisk is the tool of the police state, where are your papers? Where are you going? What business do you have around here? Refuse to answer, and you must have something to hide, probably something illegal, and that gives them probable cause to step up the investigation.

40% of us are willing to sacrifice Civil Liberties to fight Terrorism. After all, what do we have to hide?

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