New York, May 13 (ANI): A non-profit organisation in New York has accused the city police of being racially driven while undertaking frisking drives of residents.
In 2009, it said police in New York City frisked Blacks and Latinos nine times more than whites.
According to the New York Times, police carried out more than 575,000 stops of people in the city, a record number of what are known in police parlance as “stop and frisks,” and this yielded 762 guns.
The least commonly cited reason for the stop was the claim that the person fit the description of a suspect. The most common reason listed by the police was a category known as “furtive movements.”
Under Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, the New York Police Department’s use of such street stops has more than quintupled, fueling not only an intense debate about the effectiveness and propriety of the tactic, but also litigation intended to force the department to reveal more information about the encounters.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, which got the data on stop and frisks after it first sued the city over the issue after the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo, said its analysis of the 2009 data showed again what it argued was the racially driven use of the tactic against minorities and its relatively modest achievements in fighting crime.
Police officials, for their part, vigorously praise the stop-and-frisk policy as a cornerstone of their efforts to suppress crime.
They claim the stops led to 34,000 arrests and seizure of more than 6,000 weapons other than guns, according to the center’s analysis.
The police officials argue that the widespread use of the tactic has forced criminals to keep their guns at home and allowed the department to bank thousands of names in a database for detectives to mine in fighting future crimes.
Besides better reporting, the surge in the number of stops, they said, is also a byproduct of flooding high-crime areas with more officers, a strategy for a force with a shrinking headcount. (ANI)