Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New York City cops stop and question a record number of people


Most were minority-group members who were never charged Comments (9)
Tuesday, February 14, 2012, 11:46 PM











  New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, joined by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (far l.), City Councilman Jumaane Williams (c.) and others, calls for a change to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy during a news conference on the steps of City Hall this afternoon.

Marc A. Hermann for New York Daily News

New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, joined by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (far l.), City Councilman Jumaane Williams (c.) and others, calls for a change to the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy during a news conference on the steps of City Hall this afternoon.

The NYPD stopped and questioned a record number of people last year, mostly minority-group members who were not charged with any wrongdoing, newly released numbers show.

There were 684,330 stops in 2011, more than six times the 97,296 stops in 2002, the first year of the Bloomberg administration.

Blacks and Hispanics were the targets of 87% of all stops, while whites were involved in only 9%.

“This is not a problem that impacts New Yorkers equally,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Little wonder that to many, policing in New York City is a tale of two cities.”

The NYPD denies it uses racial profiling.

It said officers stop people based on a number of factors, including descriptions provided by crime victims and witnesses.

“Stops save lives,” said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman. “Over the past 10 years, there were 5,430 murders in New York City, compared with 11,058 in the decade before Mayor Bloomberg took office.

“That’s a remarkable achievement — 5,628 lives saved — attributable to proactive policing strategies that included stops.”

Browne also said cops recovered 819 guns during those stops — but Lieberman said that doesn’t justify stopping the innocent.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who is white, said the issue doesn’t resonate with white New Yorkers, but should be of concern to all races.

In Harlem, where some men sport buttons that read “Stop and Frisk” with a red line through the words, Dominick Sanchez, 20, said he was stopped Monday and questioned about robberies on the block.

“If you’re not white, you’re going to get stopped,” said Sanchez, who is black. “I want to talk back to them, but they threaten you.”

Stanley Jenkins, 33 and black, knows that feeling.

“A lot of times when they do stop and frisk they do so on a hunch,” said Jenkins, who is black. “They say they ‘got a call,’ which is untrue nine out of 10 times.

“It’s embarrassing — especially if you did nothing wrong.”

rparascandola@nydailynews.com

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