Bratton on why stop-and-frisk problem is ‘solved’

Bratton. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned on the promise to “end the stop-and-frisk era.”

Fifteen days into his administration, his police commissioner declared the mission effectively accomplished.

At a conference about community policing strategies in Manhattan, NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton said, “In terms of being about what to about the high number of stops, my answer is this aspect of the problem has more or less been solved.”

He added, “As some of you may be aware, the number of stops has fallen dramatically. In some instances, they’ve stopped altogether. Stop-and-frisk has been stopped in some neighborhoods altogether.”

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“To give you some idea,” he continued, “in the fourth quarter of 2012, the department recorded a little more than 90,000 stops. In the fourth quarter of 2013, that number fell to 12,300. In 2011, the peak year for use of this tactic, the NYPD conducted 694,000 documented stops. In 2013, the figure was about 194,000. So, clearly it is in decline and I believe that is a good thing.”

Bratton was speaking at the “Safe Streets, Strong Community” conference, hosted by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a nonprofit group that helps distribute federal and private money to fund holistic strategies to help distressed neighborhoods. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and federal housing secretary Shaun Donovan also spoke to the group earlier in the day.

Asked to expand on his comment that the stop-and-frisk issue had largely been resolved, Bratton replied, "My CompStat numbers. That’s what I look at every day," referring to the daily crime numbers collected by the department.

In a scrum with reporters, Bratton said, “The officers are still effectively doing stop-question-and-frisk, as reflected in the numbers, but nothing like they were doing.”

Bratton said he spent “hours” in New York City’s trains today and, while looking at crime stats there, he saw that in some transit districts, “there were no stop-question and frisk forms filled out” yesterday.

During last year’s race for mayor, the Democratic candidates sought to tap into voter anger at Mayor Michael Bloomberg and resentment in minority communities who saw their neighborhoods get safer, but felt unfairly targeted by the NYPD’s tactics. De Blasio and other candidates said they would curtail the use of stop-and-frisk, but not ban it outright.