New York police conducted more than 200,000 stop-andfrisk searches in the first three months of this year, a 10 percent increase from the same period last year, even as critics say the practice often is racial profiling.


Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have long defended the program as one that saves lives and has helped bring violent crime in the city down to historic lows.


So far this year, almost all of the stops have involved men, while blacks made up more than half of the stops and a third involved Latinos. About 1 in 10 of those stopped were white and 3 percent of the stops were Asian.


Police spokesman Paul Browne said the demographic breakdown corresponded to crime data.


Nine in 10 stops resulted in no further police action. An arrest was made in 5 percent of the stops, and a summons was issued in another 5 percent of cases, down slightly from 2011, police said. There was a 31 percent jump in the number of illegal firearms confiscated from suspicious individuals, compared to the same period last year.


But the stop-and-frisk program has vocal critics. "It takes a monumental toll on the freedom and dignity of hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers of color every year," said Donna , executive director of the NYCLU.