3:00 pm Aug. 3, 2012
Stop-and-frisks are down, Dave Seifman reported today, and critics of the practice don't much care.
"If past is prologue, we can expect that NYPD officers subjected at least 1,000 innocent New Yorkers a day to humiliating and unjustified street stops," New York Civil Liberties Union's executive director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. "That is nothing to brag about."
Joo-Hyun Kang, a spokeswoman for Communities United for Police Reform, said the underlying problem still exists, no matter what the numbers say, because the stops are "driven by illegal, discrimination-based profiling and a thirst for numbers rather than reasonable suspicion."
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, the only mayoral candidate to release a statement on this, said "we need to look beyond this one statistic" to know whether the numbers reflect structural changes to the policy or an anomaly.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly have vigorously defended the policy and said reducing the number of stop-and-frisks would lead to more crime and more deaths. (See Howard Wolfson's exchange with Harry Siegel.)
According to the city's latest crime figures, there are fewer murders and car thefts so far this year than last, but more rapes, robberies, felony assaults, burglaries and grand larcenies.