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'Stop and Frisk' Searches in NYC Overwhelming Target People of Color

'Stop and Frisk' Searches in NYC Overwhelming Target People of Color

Of the people stopped by police in New York, 97 percent are Black or Hispanic, according to a new federal report.

"Stop and frisk" searches in New York City are overwhelmingly targeting Black and Hispanic people, according to a court-appointed federal monitor's report.

Monitor Mylan Denerstein said that special units deployed by the NYPD known as Neighborhood Safety Teams across districts have stopped and frisked too many without just cause, engaging in “unconstitutional policing." In one precinct, only 41 percent of stops, 32 percent of frisks, and 26 percent of searches were legal.

“Unfortunately, the results are disappointing,” Denerstein wrote.

Neighborhood Safety Teams were established by mayor Eric Adams to combat gun violence. They wear altered uniforms and drive in unmarked vehicles. Denerstein's report noted that officers “overall appear to be stopping, frisking, and searching individuals at an unsatisfactory level of compliance. Too many people are stopped, frisked, and searched unlawfully.”

Of the people stopped by police, 97 percent were Black or Hispanic. This aligns with NYPD data compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union in 2022, which found that Black and Hispanic people accounted for 89 percent of stops that year.

In 2013, a federal judge ruled that NYPD had unlawfully targeted people of color in their searches, saying that the disparity constituted racial profiling. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a staunch supporter of the tactics and facilitated them in NYC for years, until 2019 when he denounced them for the first time while announcing his campaign for president.

“I can’t change history. However, today, I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong, and I’m sorry," he said at the time, adding, "Over time, I’ve come to understand something that I long struggled to admit to myself: I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong. I didn’t understand back then the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities."

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