In 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 532,911 times, of which 473,644 were innocent. Of those stopped, 284,229 (55 percent) were black, 165,140 (32 percent) were Latino, and 50,366 (10 percent) were white. The high-water mark for NYPD stops occurred in 2011. That year, the NYPD reported 685,724 stops – a 600 percent increase since Kelly took over as NYPD commissioner in 2002.
Bloomberg and NYPD officials claim stop-and-frisk targets minorities more often because minorities are responsible for a high percentage of crime. However, only 11 percent of stops in 2011 were based on a description of a violent crime suspect. Furthermore, no research has shown that stop-and-frisk has reduced violent crime.
“Your safety and the safety of your kids is now in the hands of some woman who does not have the expertise to do it,” Bloomberg said after Scheindlin’s ruling.
Only 10 percent of all NYPD stops result in arrest. Guns are found in less than 0.2 percent of stops.
“Make no mistake, this is a dangerous piece of legislation and anyone who supports it is courting disaster,” Bloomberg said in April. “If you end street stops looking for guns, there will be more guns on the streets, and more people will be killed. It’s that simple.”
According to the NYPD’s 2012 statistics, while 84 percent of those stopped were black or Latino, the likelihood that an African American would yield a weapon during a stop-and-frisk was half that of white New Yorkers stopped. When it came to discovering contraband, officers were a third more likely to find illegal items on the person of a white suspect.
The Community Safety Act bills were initially passed by the council with veto-proof majorities on June 27. Bloomberg vetoed both bills on July 23.
Bloomberg said previously that supporters of the legislation are “putting ideology and election-year politics in front of public safety.”