In the first three months of 2012, New York City cops stopped and frisked a record number of citizens — 203,500. But in the second quarter, that number dropped to 133,934, a decrease of 34 percent. What’s driving the fall? Negative attention to the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy seems to have cops and supervisors a little on edge.
According to the New York Times, supervisors are no longer pushing cops to stop and frisk people during their pre-shift roll calls. Also, officers don’t want to be named in a complaint or news article, so everyone is being a little more conservative.
One supervisor, who didn’t want to be named said, “cops are nervous, and supervisors are nervous.”
The stops, where police stop people (usually in higher-crime areas) and pat them down with little suspicion other than the location where they are stopped and sometimes (many allege) their race.
While the department defends the policy and even credits it with reduced gun crime, figures show that African American and Hispanic men are stopped at rates far above whites. These minority groups represent 85 percent of the stops.
Officials, including the police commissioner Raymond Kelly, say the 34 percent decrease in recent months have nothing to do with officers being scared, and everything to do with new recruits being placed in other areas.
Recruits, Kelly said, used to be placed in Operation Impact, where they would be assigned to a high-crime neighborhood and told to “seek out suspicious behavior.” But fewer of these rookies are being sent to Operation Impact, and therefore the rate of stop and frisks have dropped.
Still, even officers say supervisors have stopped pushing them to conduct these stops and that added motivation had driven the numbers up in months past. They used to ask for more stops at every roll-call, but “they don’t ask for it anymore,” said one officer. When they did, he said, it was like “a quota or a production goal.” Without it, officers have stopped initiating so many.
The main purpose of these stops is to find guns and drugs. Officers will frisk someone they think looks suspicious, acts suspicious or is in a tough neighborhood in hopes of finding something arrest-worthy. But, most stop and frisks result in no such discoveries.
When you are searched and arrested by the NYPD, what happens in the coming hours and days can change your life forever. Criminal drug charges or weapons charges can haunt you for years.
If you are facing charges of possession with intent to distribute, possessing a firearm, or any other crime, contact us today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.