STOP & FRISK
In 2009 there were approximately 575,000 “Stop & Frisk” reports filed by NYPD officers. Of these, only about 6% resulted in arrests, and another 6% resulted in a summons being issued. The position of the Police Department is that Stop & Frisks are an effective crime-fighting tool. The Department holds onto the information it gathers in each Stop & Frisk “indefinitely,” with the intention of using that information, if necessary, in future investigations. Between 2004 and 2009 there were 2,798,461 “Stops” by the police, and 2,467,160 resulted in no action at all, yet each person stopped has a record with personal information on file with the police.
Certain members of the New York City Council have demanded that all the individuals, in instances where either no action was taken at the time of the “Stop”, or where action may have been taken but the person was later found “not guilty”, or was exonerated in some other way, be removed entirely from this database. The majority of individuals affected are minorities (Black and Latino).
The final outcome of this tug of war between the New York City Police Department and the City Council has yet to be determined. I will note, personally, as a former New York City council member, that it is my belief that any recalcitrance by the Police Department can be overcome by the City Council through the passage of legislation, if that is truly the Council’s desire.