Low-level arrests surged alongside stop-and-frisk spike

Low-level arrests surged alongside a spike in stop-and-frisk under the Bloomberg administration. Credit: Metro Archive
Low-level arrests surged alongside a spike in stop-and-frisk under the Bloomberg administration. Credit: Metro Archive

While much attention has been and continues to be paid to the issues with the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice, a new report from DNAinfo shines light on another problem: a spike in arrests for low-level crimes.

As a result of such arrests, people who pose little to no threat of violence end up with rap sheets for misdemeanors.

The zero-tolerance arrest policy is meant to keep criminal offenders off the street so they can’t commit more serious crimes. It was introduced by William Bratton, who served as police commissioner in the early 1990s. Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has named Bratton as a possible police commissioner in his administration.

At the time, the city was plagued by historic levels of crime, with 2,200 murders on record in 1992.

The height of these arrests during Bloomberg’s tenure was in 2010, also a peak year for stop-and-frisk numbers. According to DNAinfo, such arrests have declined steadily since then.

Court statistics show about 10 percent of all NYPD quality-of-life arrests get tossed out by the city’s district attorneys and judges without any court action ever taken, DNAinfo reported.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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