Downside of “Stop and Frisk”

July 13, 2010 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

Since 2003 the number of “stop and frisk” encounters by the New York City Police Department has more than tripled, from roughly 161,000 to 576,000 in 2009, but only about 12 percent of those people were charged with criminal activity, according to a report by the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Opponents of this practice call it racist–the majority of those stopped are black and Hispanic–as well as ineffective. “The return rate on these stops is minuscule,” says Delores Jones-Brown, director of the center and the lead author of the report, “Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in New York City: A Primer.” “We would not accept that kind of return in any other profession.” Jones-Brown discusses how the policy has impacted the relationship between the NYPD and the public and what could be done to improve the communication between the two. “There needs to be a survey of police officers,” says Jones-Brown, “to determine what’s motivating them to engage in stopping.”
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