New York Law School

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The Target of the New York City Police Department’s Stop and Frisk Program: Crime or Race?

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) engages in a tactic known as Stop, Question, and Frisk. The NYPD uses this tactic allowing a police officer to stop an individual based on “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity. The NYPD uses the tactic throughout the city alleging that it helps prevent crimes, make arrests, and solve future crimes. The NYPD has dramatically increased enforcement of the program in recent years. The number of stop and frisks grew from 97,000 in 2002 to 601,055 in 2010. While enforcement of the tactic has dramatically increased, the percentage of arrests or summonses resulting from a stop has consistently hovered around ten percent.

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