“The numbers don’t lie: New York City police have conducted 5m “stop-and-frisk” searches since 2002. More than 86% of individuals targeted were black or Hispanic, and 88% were innocent of any crime. The stop-and-frisk tactic is clearly discriminatory, often humiliating, and totally ineffective. It must be abolished.
Just as astonishing as the raw numbers were the stories from my series of stop-and-frisk” town hall meetings last month in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. Young men and less-young men, black and brown, came to church halls and community rooms to tell of how, time and time again, they had been verbally abused by police, pushed up against walls, made to stand spreadeagled, and forced to empty their pockets – all for doing nothing wrong and while passers-by watched. […]
Under the Bloomberg administration, the number of stops surged from 97,296 in 2002, to 685,724 in 2011, before tapering off slightly to 533,042 in 2012 in the wake of increased scrutiny. City Hall argues that the program helps get guns off the street, but an analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union shows that while police recovered one gun for every 266 stops in 2003, the additional 524,873 stops in 2011 yielded just one gun for every 3,000 people stopped.”