Feds to Review NYC's Stop-and-Frisk Policy

Policy both unconstitutional and ineffective, campaigners say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 8, 2012 8:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Justice Department has agreed to review New York City's controversial stop-and-frisk policy following complaints from activists and lawmakers who say the program overwhelmingly targets minorities, reports the Guardian. NYPD statistics show that police stopped a record-setting 684,330 people on the streets last year, 87% of whom where black and Latino; about half were frisked, and almost 90% weren't arrested. The police department and Mayor Michael Bloomberg defend the policy but critics say it is ineffective and has led to thousands of illegal arrests, reports the AP.

Campaigners, who met with DoJ officials yesterday, note that stop-and-frisks have soared 600% under Bloomberg but the number of people injured by gunfire hasn't budged since he took office. "No one cares about stopping crime more than we do because we live in these neighborhoods," says New York City Assemblyman Karim Camara. "I'm raising two kids. You think I like hearing gunshots when my kids are sleeping in the other room? But you are not stopping the gunshots. You are not getting the guns off the street."

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams displays several buttons as he speaks about the New York Police Department's stop and frisk policy yesterday.
New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams displays several buttons as he speaks about the New York Police Department's stop and frisk policy yesterday.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
NYPD officers follow an anti-stop and frisk march at the Occupy Wall Street encampment last year.
NYPD officers follow an anti-stop and frisk march at the Occupy Wall Street encampment last year.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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