NY AG Issues Report on Stop and Frisk
- New York 11/14/2013 by Linda Perry (WBAI)

The new report examines the impact of the NYPD's Stop and Frisk practice on individuals stopped and on the criminal justice system. This is the second report from the Attorney General's office on the effect of Stop and Frisk. The first was in 1999 and was used by litigators in Floyd vs. City of New York, the class action trial which resulted in Judge Shira Sheindlin ordering NYPD Stop and Frisk reform. Eliot Spitzer's office found that blacks and Hispanics were stopped and frisked at a disproportionate rate, even when controlling for demographics and crime rates.

Data in the present report reveals that only 3% of stops led to convictions, and 0.1% led to convictions for a violent crime.  Similar data was released by the NYCLU, the New York Civil Liberties Union and CCR, the Center for Constitutional Rights. What's different is the Attorney General's report released today looks at the efficacy of the practice, the effect of stop and frisk on millions of people stopped for no apparent reason.

The report finds widespread consequences for arrestees and criminal justice institutions, including litigation costs incurred by the city, and various harm to individuals, even those arrested for misdemeanors. It include loss of employment, housing, student loans, and immigration status. There is an incentive to plead guilty when innocent. Then this alters the course of the lives of those stopped and frisked. This also applies to those who receive summonses. The Attorney General's Report suggests that more study is needed on summonses. If a person receives a summons when stopped and doesn't show up for their court date, arrest warrants are issued. As of February 2013 over one million bench warrants were issued for people around New York City.

As well, there is a sharp uptick in litigation costs for New York City for lawsuits alleging constitutional violations by the NYPD.  In 2009, for the first time in 30 years, the NYPD had the largest legal settlements of any city agency.

Attorney General Shneiderman said “My office's analysis of the city's stop and frisk practices has broad implications for law enforcement, both in New York City and across the state. It’s our hope that this report – the first of its kind – will advance the discussion about how to fight crime without overburdening our institutions or violating equal justice under the law.”

A copy of today's report can be viewed here.

Communities United for Police Reform issued the following statement:
“The Attorney General’s report provides more proof that the Bloomberg administration’s abusive stop-and-frisk program is as ineffective as it is wrong. While violating the rights of law-abiding New Yorkers of color, it results in a miniscule percentage of arrests that are not dismissed. It’s time for the Bloomberg administration to stop delaying reforms to a policing program that doesn't increase safety or serve the public interest.”

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