Higher number of minority teens stopped than actually live in city

A man is stopped and frisked by NYPD in Brooklyn.  Photo by Jeremy Sparig

If you’re a black or Latino young man living in New York, count on being stopped by the police – and probably frisked — at least once in your life.
 
A new report released yesterday revealed more black youths are stopped and frisked by the police than actually live in the city.
 
The New York Civil Liberties Union report revealed that in 2011, 168,126 black youths between the ages of 14 and 24 were stopped by cops. That number is higher than the 158,406 black youths that live in New York City, according to U.S. Census data.
 
Although young minorities account for only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, black and Latino males ages 14 to 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops, according to the report, which was based on NYPD data.

And minorities are stopped more often even in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods. For example, in the Murray Hill area, which is 8 percent black and Latino, 71 percent of stops were of minorities.

“The numbers, they paint a picture of law enforcement in New York as a tale of two cities,” NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said yesterday.

About 9 out of 10 people stopped were released without a summons or arrest, Lieberman said.
 
Critics say the NYPD should fix what they say appears to be racial profiling.
 
But Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg say the program helps reduce crime and snare guns.
 
“Stop, question and frisk keeps guns and other weapons off the streets and saves lives,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said.

NYPD top spokesman Paul Browne said the number equates to less than one stop per week per patrol officer.
 
“Police are targeting crime, not individuals,” Browne said.

Lieberman responded that police found one gun per 3,000 stops and noted that, according to the data, when white people were stopped, they were more likely to have weapons.

“Stop and frisk is a valid police tool, but it is being misused thousands of times each day,” Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said.


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