Only 1.5 percent of Stop-and-Frisk arrests, the discriminatory policy that racially profiles Black and Brown men on the streets of New York City, has resulted in a jail or prison sentence, according to an in-depth analysis released by the New York Attorney General’s Office.
“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,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “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.”
Even more telling, only 0.1 percent of all arrests under the policy led to a conviction for a violent crime, a point that was the linchpin of former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg‘s rationalization for keeping the policy in place.
“There is just no question that stop-question-frisk has saved countless lives,” Bloomberg said. “And we know that most of the lives saved, based on the statistics, have been black and Hispanic young men.
“It’s worth remembering that as recently as 1990, New York City averaged more than six murders a day,” the mayor added. “Today, we’ve driven that down to less than one murder a day.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that the New York Police Department deliberately violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with its Stop-and-Frisk policy, and that an independent monitor is needed to oversee major changes. Scheindlin cited Trayvon Martin’s death in a lengthy opinion that infuriated Bloomberg. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, the architect of Stop-and-Frisk, insisted that the policy saves lives and the city risks a resurgence in crime if it is no longer in effect. Kelly also said that more Black people are stopped because more Black people commit crimes:
“You have to apply a formula of sorts. ‘Do the stops comport with the description given by the victims of perpetrators of violent crime?’ And our stops certainly do,” Kelly said. “Nobody wants to be stopped…we have engaged in a major training evolution for several years, focusing on these issues, to do these stops with courtesy, do them with respect,” he added.
In a shocking ruling on October 31, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Judge Scheindlin’s ruling will be stayed pending the outcome of an appeal by the city. She was also thrown off of the case due to allegations that interviews she gave during the trial called her impartiality into question.
Read more on that story here.