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Queens Chronicle

New report on stop and frisk policy

Attorney General’s Office shares new findings after studying arrests

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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:38 am, Wed Nov 27, 2013.

The stop and frisk debate continues and now a new study has been thrown into the mix.

The New York Attorney General’s Office released a report last week that supports the claim that the policy targets mostly young men of color and did not reduce crime.

“Supporters and opponents of the practice agree that only 6 percent of all stops result in an arrest,” the report reads. “Yet until now, no known study has sought to assess what happens following those arrests.”

The report analyzes 150,000 stop-and-frisk arrests from 2009 through 2012 out of the 2.4 million stops conducted during the same time.

The study reports that close to half of all stop-and-frisk arrests did not result in a conviction, 1.5 percent result in a jail or prison sentence, 0.1 percent led to a conviction for a crime of violence and possession of a weapon and 24.7 percent were dismissed before arraignment or resulted in a non-criminal charge.

The report is very clear that it is not taking a side in the debate or whether the practice is unconstitutional.

“These findings merit consideration in the broader discussion of the efficacy of stop and frisk as a law enforcement tool,” the report concludes.

Not surprisingly, many critics of the NYPD’s use of stop and frisk used the newly released report to support their claims.

“[The] numbers show clearly that the excessive abuse of a stop-and-frisk policy that violates New Yorkers’ civil rights is not necessary to keep our city safe,” said Joo-Hyun Kang, spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “Our city needs to finish the job and implement the reforms that will end stop-and-frisk abuses and protect New Yorkers.

“This will improve safety and rebuild the relationship between the NYPD and the communities they are supposed to serve.”

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), who chairs the Public Safety Committee and is an avid supporter of stop and frisk, was not convinced the study tells the whole story.

“They didn’t have a control group,” he said. “They need to know the statistics for the non-stop-and-frisk arrests as well. I spoke with the NYPD recently and sure enough, the statistics are exactly the same. I sleep sound knowing that I stand for something that won’t change based on the political wind.”

Just recently, federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that the policy was unconstitutional was thrown out by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the second circuit.

In addition, over the last few months, the NYPD reports their use of the tactic plummeted 80 percent.

In the time between July and September, officers made a little over 20,000 stops compared to the 106,000 stops made during the same period last year.

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