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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Researcher finds 95,000 NYPD Stop & Frisks Unconstitutional / Stop & Frisk to be Big Issue in 2013 Vote

According to a new report analyzing stop-and-frisk data made public by the New York Police Department, 95,000 stops were unconstitutional. MORE

At Capital New York, By Azi Paybarah, December 12, 2012 4:44 pm
According to a new report analyzing stop-and-frisk data made public by the New York Police Department, 95,000 stops appear to have been unconstitutional.

The report released today is from the Center for Constitution Rights and professor Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia University, a critic of stop-and-frisk who is currently part of a class-action lawsuit against the city.

The report says that "based on the information recorded on NYPD stop-and-frisk forms by police officers themselves, more than 95,000 stops lacked reasonable articulable suspicion and therefore violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures."

Asked about that claim, MYPD spokesman Paul Browne responded by email, "Stops save lives and they comport with descriptions provided by victims of violent crime."
Go to Capital NY for the conclusion of the article.
One of the more telling findings about the upcoming New York mayoral race in a new Quinnipiac poll of city residents is buried deep within the survey. MORE

At Capital New York, By Blake Zeff, November 21, 2012 12:42 pm

The article on a Quinnipiac University poll begins with the usual concerns of which candidate's ahead (the poll shows Quinn the first choice of 32 percent, versus 10, 9, 5, and 4, respectively for Bill Thompson, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and Scott Stringer). However, this poll was taken before Stringer quit the mayoral race.

Yet, it closes with a note on how stop and frisk is heavily opposed by Democratic, African-American and Latino voters.
A more telling finding in the poll, in my view, regards police practices. New Yorkers strongly support the performance of police commissioner Ray Kelly (68-23) and that of the NYPD as a whole (62-31), but they sharply oppose stop-and-frisk tactics (by 53-42) that have mostly targeted black and Hispanic men. This dichotomy indicates that the disapproval of stop-and-frisk is not merely a proxy or byproduct of blind hatred toward (or even dissatisfaction with) the police department, but rather, a stand-alone concern about which there is very real discontent.

Dig deeper into the stop-and-frisk question, and the numbers are even more telling: Democrats oppose the practice by 62-33, black voters by 70-28, and Hispanic voters by 64-33.

Don’t think this has escaped the attention of the candidates and their campaigns. If you’re a Democrat running for mayor in 2013, this is an issue you must address if you want to connect with the base of your party.

New Yorkers have plenty of positive things to say about Michael Bloomberg’s tenure. Impressively, 57 percent think his health initiatives have either been right or have not gone "far enough.” Nearly two thirds are somewhat or very satisfied with the way things are going in the city today.

Stop-and-frisk is a glaring exception. I’d expect we’ll be hearing a lot about this from the candidates in 2013.

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