Stop-and-frisk is an ineffective, wasteful, sinister program, and now there’s data to prove it. New York’s Attorney General released a report on Thursday describing in painful detail just how profound a policy failing NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s pet program is. (The Village Voice would venture that’s a moral failing, too, but we’re waiting for someone to design that study.) Get this: Only one in 50 stop-and-frisk arrests results in convictions for violent crimes. It’s the same figure for weapons possession convictions — that’s 0.1 percent of all stops made.
The report measures the efficacy of the program as it was applied between 2009 an 2012, a period during which police conducted 2.4 million stops that resulted in 150,000 arrests. That means for every one arrest resulting from a stop, 15 did not.
And of those arrests, only 3 percent lead to convictions.
The report is full of stark graphs and charts like the one above. For example, the graph showing that 73 percent of white stop-and-frisk suspects arrested for marijuana possession get their cases adjourned, while only 51 percent of black defendants are afforded the same leniency.
But the A.G.’s office mostly leaves aside the (big) problem of race; the study makes the case that stop-and-frisk is not sound policy from a financial perspective. Why? Because the city is spending more and more money defending the constitutionality of the program in court.
Read the whole thing below. Though the debate over stop-and-frisk has been at least partially data-driven since the 1999 study that found that black and Hispanic city residents were disproportionately affected by the policy, this new report adds an important layer to the debate in a language we can all understand: money.
Read the report on the next page.
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